Hearing Loss + Masks – Communication Tips

Hi Audiology Folks! I hope this blog finds you all enjoying cool breezes, relatively healthy, happy, and wearing a mask! I know it’s a been a minute since we were able to chat here, but as we make our way into the beautiful Minnesota fall, I’ve got a timely topic to discuss.

This blog will cover a topic at the forefront of many conversations we are having everyday now: how to cope with communicating while wearing a mask. Otherwise known as? We don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone.

Prior to the need to wear masks while communicating, people, even those people with normal hearing, used visual cues, lipreading, and facial expressions to clue themselves into what people are saying. Every person uses tone, body language, contextual cues to communicate. Above all, the message being conveyed must be audible and accessible to both parties.

The problem is, while masks are so important for our safety and well-being right now, they are also taking away many of these cues. That’s a problem even for those of us with normal hearing, and The presence of a hearing loss severely compounds these difficulties because they are already processing a degraded signal (tone, audibility, or clarity might already be inaccessible). There is no magic fix for this – this is something we are all going to have to deal with together. HOWEVER, (and note the use of capitalization for emphasis because that is a BIG however), your friendly neighborhood audiologist is here with some tips and tricks to try and help everybody out!

Tip 1

Per the article below, they’ve done the research, and quantified just how much sound pressure we’re losing behind our masks – we can each do our part to try and get some of that sound pressure back safely (read: while wearing a mask).
https://www.hearingreview.com/hearing-loss/health-wellness/how-do-medical-masks-degrade-speech-reception

Tip 2

Tip 3

Tip 4

Tip 5 – This one is the biggie, Audiology folks

As always – stay safe, be well, and remember that at Andros Audiology and Hearing Aid Center, we’re here to help.

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