Most 0f us are wearing face masks these days. It’s even quite likely that many of us are getting used to wearing them! What once felt very strange is now routine when heading out in public.
Almost 38 million Americans experience some degree of hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Many of these individuals may be using hearing aids to help with their hearing loss.
Hearing aids can open up a world of sound for people with hearing loss. But boy do you notice when they are not working, or worse, lost!
Wearing a face mask can help keep you safe in public. Unfortunately, the position of the mask behind our ears can pose a challenge for hearing aid wearers.
Today, we’re looking at how you can keep your hearing aids safe when wearing a face mask.
Keeping Your Hearing Aids Safe When Wearing A Face Mask
The coronavirus has changed our lives in many ways. It’s also seen many of us wearing face masks on a daily basis. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued guidance on how we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. This includes practicing good hygiene by regularly washing our hands. It also includes the use of a face covering.
Face masks aim at helping to slow the spread of COVID-19. For the millions of Americans with a hearing impairment, face masks can present communication challenges. These challenges can include:
- It’s no longer possible to read lips
- Social distancing makes it more difficult to hear, especially with face masks
- Outside of the communication challenges, face masks can also pose problems for hearing aid wearers.
According to an article published in Living With Hearing Loss, audiologists are reporting an increase in people who have lost their hearing aids. They note this is down to the challenges presented by wearing masks.
Depending on the mask being worn, hearing aids may become tangled in the face mask’s straps. When the person wearing the mask reaches to remove it, the tangled hearing aid device goes flying!
Wearing a face mask shouldn’t deter you from wearing your hearing aid devices. The added communication challenges makes it even more important to wear your hearing aids.
Here are some tips on keeping your hearing aids safe when wearing a face mask:
- Take off your mask at home - By removing your mask at home, should it fall off it should be easier for you to find.
- Make sure your hearing aid devices are still in place - Once you’ve taken off your face mask, check and make sure your hearing aid devices are still in place.
- If you have long hair, tie it back - Tie back long hair with a band. Th8is helps to ensure y9our hearing aid devices won’t get tangled with your hair. It also helps avoid your hair getting tangled with your face mask!
- Use a 4-string mask - Look for a face mask with 4 strings, as opposed to the masks with the 2 string loops. A 4 string mask can be tied behind your head. Avoiding looping a mask behind y9our ears is one more way to keep your hearing aid devices safe when wearing a face mask.
- Use buttons - If you’re feeling crafty, you can try and make a headband with buttons. You can view a tutorial here.
In the unfortunate scenario that you lose your hearing aids, our hearing specialists would be happy to help you find the perfect new device. Get in touch with the hearing specialists at HearingLife (formerly Family Audiology) today. Call us on (607) 323-4061 or click here to request an appointment online.