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Wearing a face mask with hearing aids

Our top tips during the Covid-19 pandemic

Wearing face masks has become widely adopted to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. However, for those hard of hearing it can create communication problems and frustrations.

Until now we may not have realised how much we rely on lip reading and facial expressions when communicating. Face masks not only hinder the clarity of speech, but it also reduces the overall volume of speech.

Here is where you will find our top tips for wearing a face mask with hearing aids, and tips on how to communicate with someone hard of hearing.

4 tips for wearing a face mask with hearing aids

Wearing a face mask can help protect you and your community by providing an additional physical barrier to Covid-19.

Hearing aids that sit behind the ear can clash with the elastic band of a face mask so we have created 4 tips for wearing hearing aids with a face mask.

  1. The most suitable type of mask has four strings which can be tied behind the head instead of looping around the ears

  2. If your hair is long and it can be pulled back into a bun, wrap the elastic band around the bun so it's shifted towards above the head

  3. Sew two buttons onto a piece of fabric to wear on the back of your head. Loop the mask elastic around these buttons

  4. Remove your mask at home in an open area so if the hearing aids fall to the ground it can be found more easily
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How to communicate with a face mask

For those with hearing difficulties, sound can be muffled behind a face mask and the absence of lip reading can make it even more challenging.

Here are a few ways to help make communicating easier.

  1. Communicator masks 
    Masks with a clear window in the front helps enable lip reading. This is important for those hard of hearing, as it allows them to see facial expressions and read lips.

  2. Speak clearly and slowly
    This helps the brain process what is being said, remember not to shout as this distorts the sound of words. If asked to repeat then try to rephrase it in another way.

  3. Use visual cues
    Meaningful gestures help convey tone of message. It's best to utilise this when speaking and remember to ensure there is always clear eye contact face to face.

  4. Reduce background noise
    A quieter environment helps the person concentrate on the conversation without disruption from external noise. So where possible, move away from loud background sounds, or turn down the volume on the car radio.
Find out more about communication tips Read more

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