Face Masks are Essential!
Face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) help protect us from the coronavirus, but they add communication challenges for everyone, especially people with hearing loss. That's because:
- Face masks lower the volume of a person's speech and slightly garble it.
- Face shields, social distancing and plastic barriers further muffle or reduce sound.
- Face mask ear loops may tug on your hearing aids and cause other problems.
- You can't rely on lip-reading clues and other facial movements that help you understand speech and emotion.
Face masks lower the volume of a person's voice, and they muffle speech clarity. Follow these tips, especially when talking to someone with hearing loss, to improve communication:
- Reduce the room's noise and get the person's attention
- Ask if the person can hear you
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Do not shout
- Make sure hearing aid wearers are using them
- Consider using a portable hearing aid amplifier, especially if
you're in a medical setting where communication is very important
- If you're not understood, try to rephrase what you said with different words
- Take turns while speaking
- Do not talk while walking or looking away
- If obtainable, clear or transparent masks can help with lip reading and conveying emotions
Source: healthy hearing