Today, to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, people who need to go outside for essential work or to run errands may be required to wear a face mask. However, this can be difficult for people who have hearing loss. This is because people who suffer from hearing loss often rely on lip-reading when talking to other people. As such, when the person they’re talking to speaks, they will have a hard time understanding what they’re saying, even when wearing hearing aids.
Additionally, the ear loops of the mask may constantly tug down a part of the hearing aid, known as the “dome,” especially if the person is using behind-the-ear devices. Worse, the ear loops may accidentally pull out the device.
For quick solutions, here are some ways people with hearing loss can wear face masks without struggle:
1. Wear masks with soft fabric ties
Standard face masks used in hospitals and sold in pharmacies have elastic ear loops. When worn for long hours, those elastic bands can rub the ear of the wearer until it becomes intolerable. A recent report from Wound Management & Prevention says that friction lesions caused by rubbing of ear loops to the ear make the wearer prone to getting infected with the coronavirus, as it creates an open wound.
As an alternative, wearers can use a face mask with soft fabric ties. This material relieves the pressure on the ear, making it more comfortable to wear.
2. Use a special mask extender
Many medical practitioners now use special mask extenders to relieve their ears from the pressure, especially now that they wear masks for the entirety of the day. Special mask extenders usually have buttons on each end where the ear bands will be looped.
Wearing this avoids having the hearing aid tugged out by the ear loops. Also, this allows the wearer to wear their masks more comfortably. Standard face masks sold in the pharmacies mostly follow a standard size, one that does not fit everyone.
3. Use plastic s-hoops to connect ties
Another alternative is using plastic s-hoops to connect ear loops behind your head. It works the same with the special mask extender only that it is smaller, which won’t look bulky will be almost unnoticeable when worn.
4. Opt for using face shields
In case any of the above still doesn’t work for people who have hearing loss, they can use face shields instead. This protective wear is worn on the head, so it won’t hit or tangle the hearing aid. Face shields will be especially useful if they still need to frequently go outside and offers additional protection.
There are many ways people with hearing loss can wear face masks without struggle. They can use face masks made of soft materials, special mask extenders or s-hooks, or opt to use face shields instead. All of these can help wearers relieve the pain caused by the elastic loops, as well as avoid the burden of wearing it with hearing aids. However, it is still best to contact your hearing aid provider to help you figure out viable solutions.
If you’re looking for new Beltone hearing aids in Langley, BC, contact us today. We can design and produce custom hearing aids specific to your needs.