The world's #1 website on hearing and hearing loss
Since 1999

Better telephone conversations

Most people take the convenience of their telephone for granted. But people with hearing problems may not even hear it ringing or may have trouble conducting a telephone conversation.

Better telephone conversations

In many cases technical devices can solve some of the problems for hearing-impaired people, but simple hearing techniques can also make it easier for a hearing-impaired individual to have a phone conversation.

Good advice

Here is some simple advice on how to reduce your hearing difficulties when on the phone:

  • Be aware which ear is your better ear and hold the receiver accordingly.
  • Too much background noise makes it hard to hear the person on the other end of the line. Take and make your calls in quiet surroundings.
  • Tell the person on the other end that you have reduced hearing, and ask her to express herself clearly. Focus on doing the same.
  • If you know much about the topic of the conversation but find it difficult to hear everything, ask the other person to spell key words.
  • Do not be afraid to guess what the other person is saying. In many cases you will often be able to deduce the right meaning from the context alone.
  • Use close-ended questions that lend themselves to yes or no responses or short answers. This promotes simple and clear answers.
  • Listen for changes in tone of voice which may indicate whose turn it is to speak.
  • In some situations you could ask a friend to listen for you and repeat to you what the person on the telephone is saying, while you give your own answers.
  • Look into getting phone equipment specifically designed for hearing impaired people.

Please use our articles

You are very welcome to quote or use our articles. The only condition is that you provide a direct link to the specific article you use on the page where you quote us.

Unfortunately you cannot use our pictures, as we do not have the copyright, but only have the right to use them on our website.