Hearing Loss & Face Covering Frustration

Most of us have at least gotten used to wearing a face covering during the pandemic, but what we have not gotten used to is trying to understand what people are saying under that face covering. Until this new face covering requirement, I never knew how much I depended on reading lips and watching people’s facial expressions. Now I find myself turning toward to a conversation just to hear better. This pandemic has brought about all kinds of adjustments and adaptations to life and now communication is at the top of that list. As if communication was not already on this list of difficult things!

According to a survey from the Hearing Health Foundation, 87 percent of respondents were experiencing communication problems from face masks, so you are not alone when dealing with this frustration. So how can we adapt and try to eliminate some of the frustration that we have all felt while staying safe?

The best tip of all is to remember to be patient, kind and courteous. These three factors are key to all our success! If we are patient, kind and courteous we will all get through this together and be better communicators in the long run!

Tips and Resources pulled from UPMC Health Beat.

UTILIZE TECHNOLOGY. Check your smart phone for apps or applications like voice to text or hearing aid compatibility. Also, when you go to church or attend a concert or gathering, ask the venue if they have hearing aid assistive devices available.

BE PREPARED. When you are going to group meetings, concerts, or dinner make sure your hearing aid batteries are new or carry a backup.

TAKE NOTES. If you are only catching every other word, it might help to write them down so you can go back and try to connect the dots.

SPEAK SLOWLY AND CLEARLY. Do not exaggerate or overemphasize your words.

DO NOT SHOUT. Speaking louder does not always mean speaking clearly. When you shout it can make it harder to understand what you are trying to say.

THINK ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT. Try to avoid locations with a lot of background noise when having conversations. If this is not possible utilize some of the tips above.

IT’S OK TO REPEAT YOURSELF. Do not be embarrassed if you need to repeat yourself or if you need to ask someone to repeat themselves. We are all in the same boat!

For more information visit: https://share.upmc.com/2020/06/hearing-loss-facemasks/

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