People with hearing loss are struggling to communicate during this time. Here are some survival tips to common problems you might be experiencing during this pandemic.
Problem 1: I’m struggling to hear someone speak to me when they are wearing a mask.
Tip 1: Wearing a mask reduces speech by 10-12 decibels. If you are struggling to hear those because you can no longer rely on lip reading it is best to get a hearing evaluation done by a licensed professional. If you do have hearing loss a hearing device will help you overcome your hearing deficit.
Tip 2: If you already wear hearing aids check with your hearing provider. They can create a mask program to overcome the decrease in speech for those situations.
Tip 3: Consider purchasing an accessory for your hearing aid such as a remote microphone. They can be used by the person you are struggling to hear and will stream directly into your hearing device. (For example your spouse or doctor).
Problem 2: My hearing aids get tangled up with my mask.
Tip 1: Put your hearing aids on first and then your mask. Make sure the straps of the mask are located on the outside of the hearing aid. Practice at home removing your mask without dislodging your hearing aids.
Tip 2: Consider wearing a mask that does not loop around your ears.
Problem 3: I lost my hearing aid when removing my mask.
Tip 1: Check the loss and damage warranty status. If you are unsure of the warranty expiration date contact your local hearing provider.
Tip 2: If your hearing aids are out of warranty and you need to buy a new set consider a custom made in the ear hearing aid. These are now available with a rechargeable option and will directly connect to your smart phone.
Problem 4: I am participating in a lot of Zoom meetings for work and struggling to hear with so many different levels of speech.
Tip 1: Many of the new hearing aids have direct connectivity to a smart phone or a laptop. This way the speech will be adjusted to your hearing loss through your hearing device.
Tip 2: Make sure only the speaker has their sound on. All other participants should mute themselves so you do not have too much background noise.