Though controversial in many areas, face mask mandates have driven individuals worldwide to cover their mouths. Face masks have altered people’s interactions significantly, but they have also helped people discover a hearing loss.
Because we care about the hearing healthcare of residents in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Richmond, Lynchburg, and across Northeast Virginia, pointing out how face masks help identify hearing loss and the solutions available is just one of the ways we hope to serve you.
Facemasks Help Expose Hearing Loss
One of the six warning signs of hearing loss includes avoiding phone calls. The same reasons individuals with hearing loss tend to prefer speaking face-to-face are nearly identical to the reasons that face masks have helped expose hearing loss.
Non-Verbal Cues Are Absent
Facial expressions and lip movements are an integral part of deciphering what others are saying during a conversation. Though all of us rely on these non-verbal cues, individuals with hearing loss are more dependent on them to overcome reduced hearing clarity.
Face Masks Muffle Speech
One of the complaints among those with hearing loss is the inability to hear clearly over the telephone. This same issue is present when someone speaks to you through a face mask.
Sound needs a clear path from the speaker, through the hearing pathway, and into the brain for processing, anything that impedes that has the same effect as trying to have a conversation while wearing a pair of earmuffs.
Words that sound similar but have different meanings can become challenging to distinguish. And sound can be reduced by up to 15 decibels.
Several tips and tools to assist individuals with hearing loss through this time include:
- Have a greater awareness of the environment in which you are speaking. Efforts to reduce background noise as much as possible will help increase speech clarity.
- Slowing down and speaking up (without shouting) during conversations also helps project sound waves through the mask for greater sound clarity.
- Hearing aids amplify and significantly increase hearing clarity.
- Those who regularly interact with the deaf and elderly communities should consider face masks with a transparent screen over the mouth.
- Technology provides us with a range of communication tools like microphone and text to speech smartphone apps, which can significantly benefit the hearing impaired.
These tips and tools provide some solutions for individuals who have discovered their hearing loss due to face masks. However, to be sure about the amount of damage and proper treatment requires a hearing assessment.
Hearing at Home Provides Solutions for Hearing Loss
As face mask mandates have become the new normal, we have to learn to adjust the way we communicate and make use of the various tips and tools available.
The team I at Hearing at Home provides solutions for your newly discovered hearing loss. Our passion and resources, combined with our mobile hearing care service, give the communities we serve a significant advantage in hearing healthcare. If you or a loved one struggles with hearing loss, give us a call at (540) 908-9494, contact us online for additional tips and tools, or set up an appointment using our specialized Access Video Audiology service.