t’s an understatement to say that things look a bit different as we begin 2021 than they did in 2020. Many people’s lives have changed in a big way as a result of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, and even if your life hasn’t undergone a significant change, you can probably see a difference in your day-to-day activities. You may be working or attending school online instead of in person. You may not be seeing your friends and family as regularly as you once did. You might be getting food and grocery delivery more frequently. And when you go into a public space, you are likely wearing a face mask.
All of these parts of our lives have changed in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. While they are important steps for protecting the health of both yourself and others, they are not without their own challenges. If you have hearing loss, wearing a face mask can present frustrations you have not experienced before. Here are a few tips for navigating hearing loss during the pandemic:
You May Have Hearing Loss
- Since the public began wearing cloth face coverings, have you experienced more difficulty understanding speech?
- Do you often need to ask people to repeat themselves, especially if they are wearing a face mask?
- Do you need to turn up the volume on the TV or radio?
If so, you may have hearing loss. Speaking with people who are wearing face masks has highlighted this for many people who did not previously realize they had hearing loss. This is because wearing a face mask can affect the volume and clarity of speech. In addition, you can no longer rely on lip-reading or facial expressions to help you understand what is said.
If you believe you might have hearing loss, we encourage you to contact our hearing health professional today. We can provide you with a hearing test and help you find the solutions you need.
When You Have Hearing Loss
If you already know that you have hearing loss, you may still be experiencing new challenges during the pandemic. One new frustration may be wearing a face mask while also wearing hearing aids. The ear loops on the face mask might catch on your hearing aids, which can pull on your hearing aids. This might be even more challenging if you wear eyeglasses as well. Here are a few tips to make it easier:
- Slowly and carefully remove your face mask. This can help prevent it from yanking out your hearing aids.
- Consider using a face mask with fabric ties instead of elastic ear loops.
- If you do wear a face covering with ear loops, try using a mask holder or one of these other solutions to prevent the loops from interfering with your hearing aids.
If you wear hearing aids and have found yourself having difficulty understanding people when they speak while wearing a face mask, talk to your hearing aid professional. Your hearing aids might need to be adjusted to accommodate for the muffling effects of the face covering.
To learn more about how to manage hearing loss during the coronavirus pandemic, we invite you to contact our hearing healthcare office today. We look forward to caring for you.