Hearing Aids and Masks (Or Oil and Water)
As a hearing healthcare professional, I spend an extensive amount of time with inexperienced hearing aid users as they adjust to a new world of hearing. We discuss not only realistic expectations, but also care and use of their new devices. However, until now, I never discussed how to manipulate hearing aids with facial masks or how to adjust to a world where facial cues have suddenly disappeared. People that wear behind-the-ear hearing aids (80% of all hearing aid users) and all people with hearing loss, are not only having to adjust to the physical difficulties of mask wearing, but also deal with a complete loss of important facial cues. The following information are some recent resources that will hopefully be helpful to you, or your loved one, with hearing loss.
This article provides basic information about mask wearing, but also has some important information about what to do when you are in a controllable environment, and when you are not.
And, if you, or a loved one, must go to the hospital, this article provides tips on communicating your needs to the medical staff.
I also went shopping and found some inexpensive options to help alleviate the difficulties with wearing a mask with hearing aids.
Most importantly, DON'T GIVE UP! This is uncharted territory for all of us and I will continue to advocate for all people with hearing loss and provide more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, reach out to me any time if you need help with your hearing healthcare needs! Stay well, and stay safe!