Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, mask wearing has been a common practice as we seek to protect ourselves and those around us. Many have noticed how mask wearing has impacted communication, especially those with hearing loss. For those who benefit from using facial cues like reading lips to help understand speech, masks may influence the flow of communication.
Luckily, there are solutions to navigate mask wearing to keep us and others healthy, without negatively impacting communication! Communication strategies have been useful before, but especially during the pandemic. Communication strategies are ways people can optimize their listening environment. Some examples are to have the speaker face you (the listener), talk slowly and louder, use familiar vocabulary, and keep phrases shorter.
There are even additional resources that you may use to improve communication, such as clear masks for speaker mouth visibility. In addition, most modern digital hearing aids are compatible with accessories to help hearing aid wearers hear even better than just hearing aids alone. An example is the remote microphone, which sends the speakers voice directly into the listener’s hearing aids, which can be very useful in both quiet and noisy environments!
If you have more questions about navigating hearing loss with mask wearing, the Doctors at Gardner Audiology would be happy to discuss your options with you! To make an appointment, visit gardneraudiology.com or call 1-800-277-1182.