How Face Masks Affect Hearing

Face masks have become a part of our daily lives, helping to keep us safe and healthy. However, wearing a face mask can make hearing and communicating harder for some people. 

Masks can create unique challenges for people who use hearing aids. In this blog, we’ll explore how face masks affect hearing and share some tips to make things easier.

Disrupting Communication

People with hearing aids often rely on lip-reading and facial expressions to accurately interpret other people’s speech. They remove a critical piece of the puzzle when their mouths are covered. 

A lack of communication can cause further isolation in a population already experiencing alienation.

Whether you’re hard of hearing or speaking with someone with hearing loss, we encourage you to be patient. Use your eyes, eyebrows, and gestures to indicate your meaning if your mouth is covered. 

You could also learn simple sign language, like the alphabet, to help you communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing.

There are now face masks with clear plastic panels, though their medical effectiveness has not been tested yet. 

Hearing Aids And Face Masks

Hearing aids are important devices that help people hear better. However, wearing face masks can make using hearing aids a bit tricky. 

Let’s look at common problems and useful tips to help make it easier.

Mask Straps and Hearing Aids:

  • Face mask straps can get tangled with hearing aids.
  • This can make the hearing aids fall out or get lost.
  • It can also be annoying and uncomfortable.

Muffled Speech:

Masks can muffle sounds, making it hard to understand speech. This is especially difficult for people who rely on lip-reading to help them understand.

Communication Difficulties:

Masks cover the mouth, so you can’t see facial expressions or read lips. This can make it hard to communicate, especially in noisy places.

Hearing Aid Damage:

  • Taking masks on and off can accidentally pull out hearing aids.
  • Hearing aids might drop and get damaged or lost.

Wearing Masks With Hearing Aids Tips and Solutions:

Use Mask Extenders:

Mask extenders are small gadgets that hold the mask straps at the back of your head instead of your ears. This helps keep the straps away from the hearing aids.

Choose Clear Masks:

Some masks have a clear window over the mouth. This lets people see your lips and facial expressions, making communication easier.

Adjust Your Hearing Aid Settings:

Some hearing aids have settings to help in noisy environments. Adjusting these settings can make it easier to hear people wearing masks.

Practice Patience and Ask for Help:

Don’t hesitate to ask people to speak louder or repeat themselves. Let friends and family know about your hearing aids and ask them to speak clearly.

Check Your Hearing Aids Regularly:

Make sure your hearing aids are secure and working properly. Check them every day to ensure they are not damaged or lost.

Audiologists and Hearing Aids In NYC

Wearing face masks is important for health but can be challenging for people with hearing aids. 

By understanding these pain points and using these helpful tips, you can make wearing masks easier and continue communicating effectively. 

Remember, it’s always okay to ask for help and take extra care of your hearing aids.

If you need to see an audiologist and get professional help for your hearing, we can help.

Audio Help Hearing Centers connect you to expert audiologists with years of experience. 

We take pride in delivering specialized hearing solutions in New York and various key locations. 

Audio Help has three New York City offices conveniently located in Manhattan (Chelsea Village, Columbus Circle, and Park Avenue) and additional offices in Scarsdale, NY (Westchester County) and Stamford, CT.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation!