Face mask are now required in many public places to assist prevent the spread of coronavirus. For people with hearing loss , though, this might be easier said than done. That’s because face masks add extra challenges for people with hearing impairments and user of hearing aids:
- If you wear hearing aids, the ear loops may tug on your hearing aids and cause other problems.
- It’s harder to know people when they’re chatting with you with a mask on their face.
Face Mask : Challenges in wearing a mask with hearing aids
If you wear behind-the-ear hearing aids, you’ll likely encounter some problems trying to wear a typical mask with elastic ear loops. The ear loops may tug at the tubing that connects the hearing aid to the speaker that sits in your ear. Furthermore may may inadvertently pull your hearing aids out and drop them when removing your mask. What’s a hearing aid wearer got to do?
Some tips to overcome this unique challenge
- Visit your audiologist ask for hukki holders for your behind the ear hearing aids, it a simple accessory to helps to protect your hearing aids from falling out inadvertently while removing mask
- Try and wear mask which have “threads” to tie it behind your head, rather than the “elastic” band which is held behind your ears. It can help you easily take off your mask, without the risk of your hearing aids falling off.
- You can also try and use some kind of “s” shaped hook to hold the mask elastic band, behind your head, rather than letting the elastic bands take support of your ear and get entangled with your hearing aids.
- Use the face mask made from soft fabric, which is smooth on the edges will help to alleviate the pressure and pain on the ear and avoid pain in the ear that you tend to feel after wearing mask for long time.
Face Mask : Challenges for person with hearing loss, in listening someone, who is wearing a mask
People with deafness also face challenges when trying to concentrate to someone who is wearing a mask. In places especially like hospitals, clinics, banks, person-to-person communication is very important, difficulty in understanding each other in such situations, will cause frustrating scenarios on each side . Face masks pose two obvious problems for patients with hearing loss:
- The person with hearing loss, cannot see the face of speaker and get any cues from lipreading, and therefore the voice of the speaker muzzled and distorted.
- In addition to this, the environmental sound and noises in public places and offices aggravates the problem in listening alongwith, resulting in speech becoming “close to unintelligible” for most of people with hearing loss and also for user of hearing aids.
Some tips to overcome this unique challenge
- Maintain a good eye contact with speaker at all times.
- Ask the person to speak slowly and clearly and slightly loudly to you.
- Make sure you are wearing your hearing aids and they are working perfectly.
- Consider using a portable additional hearing aid amplifier accessory for your hearing aids, contact your hearing aid provider for details.
- Make an effort to “repeat” and rephrase remarks if not understood, to avoid any confusions.
- Do not talk while walking with speaker, this would create additional difficulty in understanding.
- If possible, get face masks with clear plastic covers, so that your expressions are visible to speaker.
- Try talking in surrounding with less noise or surrounding sounds, this will help reduce the misunderstanding between you and the speaker.
- In a public place, like at a shopping trip, speak up for yourself when talking to strangers, letting them know you cannot hear well and wish them to talk more clearly.
- If you and your spouse are both wearing masks, confirm your spouse is aware they need to speak more slowly and clearly to you.
In case you have un-diagnosed hearing problem, you might have been coping till now with some ease, however face mask, for sure would have brought to fore your hearing loss problem.
If you were hearing comfortably before the coronavirus and use of face mask but are now facing problem in hearing, it is right time to go in for detailed hearing loss test at earliest. This could be a case of onset of hearing problem.
You can visit our clinic for hearing loss test with our experts, please book appointment in advance.