If you use a hearing aid or have a cochlear implant, you may experience an interfering noise when you use, or someone nearby uses, a digital (GSM) mobile phone. The level of interference can vary depending upon your hearing aid and the mobile phone. So it is important that the mobile phone you buy best meets your needs.
Mobile Phone Options
Firstly, consider using the phone without your hearing aid, either by putting the phone to your ear or by using a hands free kit. Trials should be conducted using the maximum volume setting for each mobile handset.
If you need to be able to listen to the phone via your hearing aid, consider the following:
Accessory devices. With some handset models, the interference can be reduced by the use of an accessory device that keeps the phone some distance from the hearing aid. Such accessory devices include an inductive neck-loop. A 'T' switch on your hearing aid is required to enable use of an inductive neck-loop. Using a personal or vehicle hands free kit may also reduce interference. For people with in-the-ear hearing aids, the personal hands free kit requires the prior removal of the hearing aid and so may not be suitable.
3G mobile phone: Recent tests have concluded that most hearing aid users who can successfully use a normal fixed line telephone will be able to successfully use a 3G mobile phone without the need for an accessory in most situations.
Purchasing a Mobile Phone
Prior to purchase:
When purchasing a mobile phone from an Optus World store or other outlet, we suggest you contact them in advance, to be sure they have the mobile phone or accessory device in store for you when you call in.
At time of purchase:
Advise the salesperson that you will be using a hearing aid with the mobile phone.
Ask to test the mobile phone with your hearing aid both in the shop and, if possible, in a location where the background environment is noisy.
If you do experience interference with a GSM mobile phone you are testing, please check to see if an accessory device assists.
Interference can occur when mobile phone batteries are not fully charged, hence you may notice more interference as your battery level is reduced.
If your mobile phone causes interference to your hearing aid when used away from the shop please return to the place of purchase because you may be entitled to a refund. Note: you will need to pay for the cost of any calls and any other reasonable charges (including monthly fees) incurred during your ownership of the phone.