Coping With Pandemic Masks When You Wear Hearing Aids

Beyond the unprecedented threat to public health, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged nearly all aspects of our lives, including one of the most basic – how we communicate. No More Lip Reading In particular, social distancing and the use of facemasks makes it difficult to hear other speakers – by about 30%, according to studies of people with normal hearing. But if you’re one of the 48 million Americans with hearing loss, understanding people, when they’re wearing masks, can be nearly impossible. And it’s not just about muffled voices – masks obscure the ability to read lips and facial cues, while social distancing means you can’t get closer to hear better.

Tips on Communicating Better in a Masked World According to Eric Branda, Ph D. AuD, Director of Research Audiology for Signia, there are strategies that can help communication at this time, if you live or work with someone with hearing loss.

These include:

· Facing the person you’re talking to

· Using approved clear face shields to allow the other person to read lips and facial cues

· Rephrasing speech rather than repeating the same words or shouting

· Writing down information to minimize communication errors Technology For the Hear and Now Hearing aid innovation leader Signia has introduced two key technologies to address the very specific challenges posed by the current COVID-19 crisis, making it the right device and the right time.

These include: “Mask” Setting: This new hearing aid setting improves audibility for those communicating with someone wearing a face covering. Remote Care: Signia has also created Remote Care, a breakthrough remote hearing care program enabling hearing care professionals to prescribe, fit and fine-tune hearing aids remotely. Remote Care combines Signia TeleCare – and industry-leading tele-audiology solution – and a new AI-based virtual assistant for complete remote service and support, along with enhanced ordering and delivery options. Dr. Branda joins Mark Alyn for a discussion on how people who are hard of hearing can hear better during the pandemic.

You can listen to Eric and Mark here

and you can watch them here

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