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Hearing & Balance Doctors is currently open. We are taking special measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including offering a curbside service for hearing aids. Please call 435-688-8991 for more information. Utah: 435-688-8991 | Nevada: 702-896-0031
Hearing & Balance Doctors is currently open. We are taking special measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including offering a curbside service for hearing aids. Please call 435-688-8991 for more information. Utah: 435-688-8991 | Nevada: 702-896-0031

Face Masks For The Hearing Loss Community

Face Masks For The Hearing Loss Community
As communities continue to take steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, everyone is feeling more isolated from one another. Whether your community is under a Stay At Home order or a strict directive limiting movement and gatherings, it can be challenging to avoid feeling cut off. But with the increased use of face masks, those individuals with hearing loss are feeling even more isolated.

While the use of face masks can help cut down on the transmission of COVID-19, individuals who are hard of hearing can run into difficulties trying to understand what is being said. Even with the use of hearing aids, having the majority of a person’s face covered can make clear communication incredibly hard. Also, many people with hearing impairment use lip-reading and facial expressions to help with communication, and face masks block that avenue.

Luckily, those people with hearing loss and who are deaf haven’t been forgotten, and some innovators have come up with a solution to full coverage face masks without reducing protection.

Clear Window Face Masks Help Hearing Impaired Connect

Amid all the anxious news surrounding COVID-19, we here at Hearing & Balance Doctors were more than happy to hear about a ray of positivity in the form of a 21-year-old Eastern Kentucky University student.

Ashley Lawrence majors in education for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and she recognized the importance of being able to see people’s mouths and expressions. To help address this issue, she has begun to make face masks that have a clear window to allow for lip-reading. She is giving these homemade clear window masks away for free to help encourage communication.

Along with the sweet, homemade efforts of Ashley, there are also FDA-approved clear window masks, though they are currently back-ordered. These were designed by a doctor who is also hard of hearing and wanted to help facilitate communication between medical providers and those with hearing loss.

Maintaining COVID-19 Safe Practice While Wearing Hearing Aids

Wearing hearing aids may leave you subconsciously touching your face, or needing to leave your home to get them fixed. Whatever the case, there are ways to remain safe while wearing hearing aids.

  • Take advantage of our curbside services to help maintain social distance. You can schedule a curbside appointment, and we will collect and care for your hearing aids as you wait in your car. Or, if you need hearing aid supplies, we can bring them to your car.
  • Wear face masks that come with ties, rather than elastic. That way, the elastic doesn’t catch on your hearing aids.
  • Try not to adjust your hearing aids manually. If you can, use a hearing aid remote or your connected smartphone, if your hearing aids are capable. Should neither of these options be viable, try to wash your hands before and after manually adjusting your hearing aids.
  • In general, be sure to maintain 6′ of distance between you and anyone you don’t share a household with, as well as covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands frequently and do your best not to touch your face!

Our offices are still open at this time, and we are keeping our hearing clinics disinfected and clean to help protect our patients and staff. If you need to see us in person, please contact us today to set up your appointment.

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