Communicating with Hearing Loss During COVID-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down. Governments around the world including the U.S have issued mandatory measures to curb the spread of the virus. While most people were frustrated because of the quarantine, wearing a mask possess a new challenge for those with hearing loss. Most of us live in states where we are required to wear some type of face-covering when we leave our home. This is mainly to prevent those individuals infected with the virus from spreading it to others.
However, mandatory mask-wearing has the unintentional consequence of making communication more difficult especially for hard of hearing individuals. According to Golden Weinstein and Shimon, medical-grade face masks such as the N95 may reduce high frequency sounds like “Shh” that are so critical to speech understanding by up to 12 decibels. Meaning that a face mask doesn’t only make it difficult to visualize facial expressions, understand lip-reading, but it also reduces our sound signals.
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Hearing Aids While Wearing a Mask...
Wearing masks has also made it difficult to keep hearing aids in place. Hearing aids are costly to lose and should be properly fitting. With the mask mandate expected to be in place for quite some time, it is best to get a custom fitting hearing aid. LifeSound Hearing offers custom fitted hearing aids for all of our clients.
If you have hearing difficulties, there are some things that you can do to improve your communication even with a face mask on. You can ask others to speak a little louder. You could also use hand gestures to indicate to them that your hearing is impaired. People may act more irrational than usual when you can’t hear them; so, you need to make them aware of your condition immediately.
Although the use of clear face masks has been proven to improve communication for hard-of-hearing people, they are not readily available and they steam-up after prolong use.
Your ability to hear is a very important aspect of communication and mental wellbeing. Just because we are social distancing does not mean you have to be isolated. That is why it’s important for people with hearing difficulty to get a hearing aid. For the hearing impaired, COVID-19 has made it more frustrating to go out in public but you can avoid the unnecessary frustration with a hearing aid.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can click here to take our free hearing aid test, or you can stop by our office; we are among the best hearing aid clinic in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. You can also contact us for further inquiry on how we can help you hear the world better.
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