Using a face mask while out in public has become very normal these days. Many public places have required a face mask to be worn since the onset of COVID-19. Now, with the Delta variant, face masks are continuing to be a necessity to keep everyone safe.
People with hearing loss have made their concerns known regarding wearing masks: how they cause muffled sounds and take away lip reading cues.
Although lip reading and muffled sounds are aggravating, those with hearing loss face even more challenges. The most common style of face mask, of course, is the over-the-ear face mask. This presents a legitimate challenge for those with hearing aids - making it much more likely to pull off and misplace their behind-the-ear device while removing the mask. What do headbands, the children’s game “Barrel of Monkeys” and N95 face all have in common? All three help to provide solutions to this problem!
We’ve taken this opportunity to list a few recommendations that will help you reduce the risk of misplacing your hearing aids. We’ve also invited you to see our Chief Innovation Officer, Dave Fabry, Ph.D., talk in detail about this issue on the Starkey Hearing YouTube channel.
If you actually do knock off your hearing aid(s) while wearing a face mask, we suggest the following:
- Don’t panic.
- If you’re wearing a Livio, Livio AI or Livio Edge AI device, you will be able to use the "Find My Hearing Aid" feature using your cell phone, directly on the Thrive Hearing app. This app will locate the device and let you know if you’re getting closer or further away. If your hearing aid is lost outdoors and the battery runs out of power, your smartphone’s GPS will indicate where the hearing aid was located when it was last connected.
- If you don’t wear one of these types of devices, still don’t panic! Take your time and be patient. Think of the place you most likely lost your hearing aid and zone off areas to search.
If you’re not successful in finding your hearing aid, you always have the option of contacting your hearing healthcare professional to check and see if your device is covered under a damage/loss policy.
An alternative solution to avoid your hearing aids being dislodged all together is to try our custom rechargeable hearing aid style instead! These hearing aids fit deep inside your ear canal, instead of behind your ear and won’t interfere at all with a face mask. Plus, they’re equipped with our Mask Mode technology that’s designed to help you better hear speech while people are wearing masks. To learn more about this technology, click here.
Or you can try this technology for yourself by contacting a local hearing professional - call (888) 919-6824 or schedule an appointment today.