Hearing devices can get in the way of face masks, which provide important protection against COVID-19. Hearing Manufacturer Resound provided CNC Hearing and Balance Center audiologists with these tips to protect your hearing devices while wearing a face mask:
Before putting on your mask, make sure your hearing aids are in a secure position. Once secure, carefully place each elastic piece of your mask around your ears one at a time. As you remove your mask, do so carefully one ear at a time to ensure that your hearing aids remain in a secure position. Make sure you are in a safe location prior to removing your mask to prevent damage to your hearing aids if they are accidentally removed.
CNC Hearing and Balance Center Audiologists can set up a “face mask” program that can be accessed through the ReSound Smart 3D app. This setting enhances voices around you to compensate for the muffled speech that face masks may be causing.
You might also consider purchasing a clear window face mask to help improve communication interactions with others. The clear window allows for people to lipread and more easily understand what you are saying.
If you find your mask is getting caught on your hearing aid, Resound offers these additional tips:
1. USE A MASK EXTENDER
You can either purchase an extender or create your own using a piece of fabric or ribbon approximately 4 inches long (or whichever length
is most comfortable) and sewing two medium buttons on both ends of the fabric. Loop the
elastic pieces of your mask around both buttons.
2. USE A TIE-ON MASK
You can either purchase or create a mask that ties behind your head and relieves pressure off your ears. There are several videos and resources
available to learn more about making your own.
3. USE A HEADBAND
Take a soft headband and sew two medium buttons on both sides making sure each button lines up with your ears. Loop the elastic pieces of your mask around both buttons to relieve the pressure behind your ear.
When holding a conversation, make sure that you have the intended recipient’s attention. At a safe distance, face each other with minimal barriers between you.
If you are in a noisy or busy environment, you may need to speak a little louder than normal. Talk a little slower than you normally may to ensure clear enunciation and understanding. If you need to repeat yourself, be more concise, a little louder and if possible, use hand signals or body language to simplify and clarify your
message. If possible, keep any unnecessary background noise to a minimum or move to a quieter location.
Always be respectful and patient if what you are saying is not understood. Social distancing, protective barriers and face masks make it more difficult
for those with or without a hearing loss to hear each other.
Now is a great time to visit an audiologist if you notice you have been having a hard time hearing someone wearing a mask. CNC Hearing and Balance specialists are also available for virtual visits via Telemedicine. Call us for an appointment at 504-934-8320.