Why did we decide to raise this topic? Today there is no American who hasn’t heard of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quarantine has affected almost every nation in the world.
Mandatory wearing a medical mask in public places is one of the measures to prevent coronavirus infection. In this regard, a huge number of people who have hearing problems and use hearing aids have encountered the problem of wearing a mask, and glasses (for those who have vision problems).
It has become more difficult for people with hearing loss to communicate with other people because the mask makes it impossible to read lips and drowns out the sound of a voice. Unfortunately, this is not the only problem that people with hearing loss have encountered.
The mask prevents the normal use of the hearing aids, increasing the risk of losing the device. Earloops can damage it, as well as they constantly cling to the body of the device causing discomfort.
We want to help people, who daily face problems wearing masks, glasses, and hearing aids, and at least make their life a little easier. To this end, we have developed a series of recommendations that will help you survive a pandemic without losing nerves and health. Let’s get started!
How to use a face mask with hearing aids?
If the elastic ties of the medical mask cause strong pressure on the ears, replace them with soft tissue ties. You can also fasten the hinges to the back of the head, instead of the ears, using a special extension cord with a holder, or a button. Mask straps and hearing aids will not interfere with each other.
Special plastic s-hooks became very popular recently. They allow you to attach the mask to the back of the head. Use special mask extension with hearing aids to fix the ends of the mask on clothes. You can also use a neck gaiter instead of a mask, shawl, or scarf.
Be extremely careful not to rush when removing the mask to avoid losing your hearing aid. The same applies when you take off your glasses or hat.
Our hearing care professional, Dr. Stella Fulman, has come up with a “life hack” of making it easier to wear a mask with hearing aids but attaching a button to the arm of the glasses with little rubber bands. When putting a mask on they hook up the mask to those buttons instead of putting it behind the ears. You can see the picture of one of our patients on our Facebook page who is successfully using this technique.
Modern hearing aids are compatible with your smartphone, computer, and other electronics.
Digital hearing aids are now the standard practice. Besides smartphones and computers, wireless technology allows hearing aids to quickly connect to FM radio, mp3 players, and televisions. Volume control can even be handled via wireless connectivity.
For Example, Oticon and ReSound hearing aids have this option available. The application will tell you how far it is from you. There are hearing aids that are available that do not go behind your ear, but rather fit right in your ear canal. Due to their size, they fit completely in the ear, which will also simplify wearing a face mask with hearing aids.
Wearing glasses with hearing aids
The compatibility of the hearing aid and glasses depends primarily on the model, shape, and size of the device. Some of them are so small that they fit completely in the ear. These devices include most modern models. In this case, problems with glasses should not arise.
However, some hearing aids are an external device that protrudes above the ear where the eyeglass frame should be. There are two options: either the glasses fall on the top of the hearing aid, or the device passes over the glasses. Both of these options will work only if your ears are not too small, or the frame of the glasses is not too thick.
If the behind the ear device is appropriate for you, your audiologist will recommend it for you. They will evaluate the shape and size of the ear, and will determine if that type of the device is going to be comfortable and if it would fit appropriately on your ear.
It would be nice to practice at home taking off and putting on glasses before going out. Thus, your muscle memory will help to remember the sequence of actions and you can easily cope with this task in a turbulent environment.
Grasp the frame with both hands and gently bring the arm of the frame up, holding on to the hearing aid to make sure it doesn’t come off.
It’s better to practice at home, for example, on the carpet, so that a hearing aid that is accidentally knocked out does not crash. With practice, the chance to drop the device will decrease significantly, and you’ll learn all the intricacies of combining glasses and a hearing device.
The combination of glasses and hearing aids is often a necessary measure, but affordable. Follow our recommendations, and do not worry you’ll succeed!
Our main goal is your healthy hearing
Every day we come across patients who have lost hope to regain their lost hearing and help them! Our hearing care professionals conduct a thorough examination and prescribe an effective treatment that allows our patients to forget about their hearing related problems forever.
We use the most advanced equipment, including TeleAudiology. We have already helped a lot of people using this remote service and are not going to stop there.
We’ll always help you choose the right hearing aids, taking into account your hearing loss and your life style. Our doctors will configure the devices specifically for you. Additionally, you’ll receive a free consultation, which will help you understand your hearing problem and know how to address it properly.
One thing to keep in mind if you happen to lose a hearing aid is not to give up. Make sure you call us and let us know. All hearing aids have warranty for loss and damage. Therefore, you are most probably covered and can get a brand new hearing aid with a very small deductible, without paying the full cost of a brand new hearing aid.
At Audiology Island, we care about the health of our patients and treat everyone with understanding. We know very well how hard it is for people with hearing loss during a pandemic and are trying to do everything possible to their lives easier.
About Dr Stella Fulman
Dr. Stella Fulman, AU.D., CCC-A received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Audiology from Brooklyn College in 2004 and her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in 2008. [ Learn More ]