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- Hearing better on the phone
Hearing better on the phone
Using the phone affects everybody's hearing. We hear things differently through a handset because the sounds are changed. Over your lifetime your hearing changes too. People's hearing starts to change naturally, so if you think your hearing has changed it's quite normal.
- Tips to help you hear better section
- Hearing aids, phones and handy products section
- Other ways to communicate section
- Take a hearing check now section
Other ways to communicate
Phoning is not for everyone. If it's just not an option, there are lots of other ways you can enjoy chatting to people nowadays.
Using some of the newer technology like textphones, e-mail and instant messaging, it's easier than ever to have different sorts of conversations both at work and at home.
Using a Textphone
If you find it difficult to hear people over the phone, you could try using a textphone. Textphones are great because they let you have typed telephone conversations. Your caller's voice is translated into text which appears on your phone's screen. It's all done by a simple service called Text Relay. There's no extra charge for using Text Relay and it's easy to use.
You can send and receive text messages (SMS) over a landline as well as on your mobile phone. All that you need to be able to use the BT Text service is a compatible phone and a BT landline. If you want to receive messages as text rather than as voice messages you will also need to subscribe to our Caller Display service (you can do this via BT customer services or online).
Download 'Communication Choices'
If you want to know more about textphones, SMS messaging and Text Relay have a look at our downloadable guide called Communication Choices: For deaf or hard of hearing people.
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Using the internet
The internet is a really good way of connecting with people and lets you have conversations in different ways. If you like using a keyboard and computer screen it is a great alternative option to using the phone. If you are just starting out or if you want to give someone a hand at getting connected to the internet, have a look at our Getting Online section.
Typing and sending an e-mail has become a pretty universal way of communicating with individuals or groups of people. Nowadays it's easy to send e-mails from your computer and from many mobile phones. E-mails are good for having conversations across long distances, or for sending and receiving documents and pictures.
Instant messaging (IM) lets you have live conversations or 'chat' on screen with people over your PC. A window opens on your computer screen and you type a message into the message box. Once you hit 'send' it appears on the other persons screen so they can reply in the same way. You need to sign up for an IM address and ask your contact for theirs. You might find BT Live Chat a helpful way of contacting us with any questions you have.
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Understanding hearing impairments
It's not always obvious when someone you're calling has a hearing impairment. Find out what the signs are and what you can do to make things easier.