The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the way we all operate on a daily basis: from social distancing to hosting smaller gatherings to using face masks when in public.
In fact, the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) has encouraged the public’s increasing use of face masks, citing several ongoing studies that show face coverings are an important – and easy – way for the general population to help reduce the spread of the disease.
“But for people with hearing loss, face masks can make communication difficult, if not impossible,” says Carrie Meyer, Au.D., Director of Clinical Programs for Amplifon Americas and an Audiologist Member of the Minnesota Department of Health, Hearing Instrument Dispenser Advisory Council. “The good news is that with some simple tips, we can all improve our communication skills to help those with hearing loss during this time.”
- Speak slowly
- Rephrase rather than repeat
- Avoid shouting; maintain a conversational volume
- Use writing/typing if possible
- Face the person speaking
- Maintain social distance, but move closer if possible
- Reduce noise in the background (close windows, move fans)
In addition, those with hearing loss can also schedule an appointment with their local hearing health care provider to ensure their hearing aids are properly tuned – in a safe way and in a safe environment. For instance, Miracle-Ear recently partnered with internationally renowned experts, Anil K. Lalwani, MD, and E. Yoko Furuya, MD MS, from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, to implement rigorous protocols and safety standards in their stores designed to protect customers and their loved ones.
With a few adjustments, a licensed hearing care professional can help adjust hearing aid settings to compensate for the mitigating effects of face masks, which have been shown to reduce high frequency sounds (an essential component of understanding speech).
So, whether you have hearing loss yourself, or if you have friends, family or colleagues with hearing loss, we can all find safe and effective ways to stay connected in the days and weeks ahead and continue enjoying all the emotions of sound.
Amplifon, global leader in the hearing care retail market, empowers people to rediscover all the emotions of sound. Amplifon’s around 17,000 people worldwide strive every day to understand the unique needs of every customer, delivering exclusive, innovative and highly personalized products and services, to ensure everyone the very best solution and an outstanding experience. Amplifon operates through a network of around 11,000 points of sale in 28 countries and 5 continents. More information about the company is available at www.amplifon.com/corporate.
Miracle-Ear, a division of Amplifon Group, has been a trusted resource in hearing solutions for over 70 years. Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Miracle-Ear specializes in customizable hearing solutions that feature discreet, comfortable products designed to meet each individual's hearing loss needs. Free hearing evaluations are available at more than 1,500 franchised locations across the U.S. For more information, visit www.miracle-ear.com.
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