Face masks may be the new normal, but many people are still getting the hang of wearing them with hearing aids. From falling out during mask removal to being obstructed by the mask itself, hearing aids — specifically behind-the-ear styles — can become lost or damaged.
In fact, at Garden State Hearing & Balance Center, since June 2020, we have had over 45 patients lose their hearing aids due to wearing masks. The majority of them were covered under their 3-year loss policy.
What can you do? As your hearing care team, we want to make sure nothing stands in the way of communicating your best. That includes helping you protect your devices. With these quick and easy tips, we’ll have you handling your face mask and hearing technology together like a pro.
Tricks for Wearing a Mask
Pull long hair into a bun and wrap the elastic of the mask — if it’s long and strong enough — around the bun, instead of your ears.
Sew a button on either end of a 4-inch piece of fabric. Wrap the mask elastic around the buttons. The fabric sits at the back of your head and eases the strain on your ears.
Sew a button on either end of a soft headband. Position the headband above your ears and wrap the mask elastic around the buttons, removing the strain from your ears.
Choose masks that tie in the back. You can find videos online showing how to create your own that don’t place pressure on your ears.
Tip for Safely Removing a Mask
Take your mask off slowly and mindfully, making sure your hearing technology remains positioned in or behind your ear as intended.
Communicating While Wearing A Mask
Speak clearly and slowly at a natural volume.
If not understood, repeat rather than rephrase.
Ensure hearing aids are turned on.
Avoid or minimize background noise.
Face your conversation partner.
Keep your smartphone or pen and pad handy to write or type out a note if needed.
Choose a well-lit area to aid in making eye contact, interpreting expressions and — if clear masks are used — reading lips.
I lost my hearing aid should I do?
First, you need to take a deep breath and retrace your steps. Most hearing instruments are found if you give it at least a few days. Many hearing aids allow you to “LOCATE” their hearing aids through their APP. There is a build in GPS that will allow you to “Find Your Hearing Aids.” Check to see if your hearing instrument has that feature, and if it does, make sure you properly download the APP to take advantage of the GPS locator. Please remember that once your hearing aid battery loses charge (if you’re wearing rechargeable hearing aids) or loses power (zinc air batteries last about 4-7 days), you will not be able to locate them.
Dr. Izzy and his staff are always available to answer any questions you may have regarding your hearing care needs. We hear you and we are always here for you in 2021.
Please feel free to contact our office at 732-818-3610 or visit us at www.gardenstatehearing.com.