Hearing loss can make communicating with your friends and loved ones difficult. Especially if you are in a crowded environment. Because hearing loss affects the way you hear certain frequencies and syllables, you often have to strain to understand what is exactly being said to you.
Today, there is an added challenge for those who have hearing loss: wearing a face mask. Although social distancing and wearing a face mask are helpful in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and keeping you healthy, there are some added challenges for those who have hearing loss. Face masks can make speech seem muffled if the speaker isn't speaking loud enough. Many people with hearing loss also rely on lip reading to fully understand the conversation. With a face mask you can't see the other person's lips, making it difficult to fully understand what is being said.
Wearing a face mask and communicating with your loved ones is possible. Follow these tips for better communication while wearing a face mask.
- Ask the speaker to speak up. One of the main problems communicating with a face mask has is that the mask muffles speech. When talking to someone ask them to speak up. Don't be afraid to ask them to speak a little louder and to enunciate.
- Wear your hearing aids. The best tip to help you communicate better is to wear your hearing aids. Wearing your hearing aids will allow you to hear many sounds with more clarity. They will also help you hear the conversation better, even if the speaker is wearing a facemask.
- Eliminate background noise. If you are trying to talk to a friend or family member, be sure to speak in a quiet environment. The less background noise that is present will make it easier for you to hear what is being said.
- Ask the speaker to rephrase what they said. If you are having trouble understanding what someone is saying, ask them to rephrase it. Some syllables are difficult to hear, especially if you have a hearing loss. Asking the speaker to rephrase what they said will increase your chances of understanding.
- Download a speech detection app.There are many apps available that can be downloaded to your smartphone. Speech detection apps will transcribe in real time what the speaker is saying and will display it as text on the screen. This is a good option for those with severe hearing loss.
We understand that this time is challenging, especially if you have hearing loss. But you don't have to feel disconnected from the ones you love. Follow these tips for better communication while wearing a face mask to reconnect with friends and family. If you need further assistance with your hearing aids call our office today or Schedule an Appointment.