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The Challenges of Having Hearing Loss During a Pandemic

It’s an understatement to say that things look a bit different as we begin 2021 than they did in 2020. Many people’s lives have changed in a big way as a result of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, and even if your life hasn’t undergone a significant change, you can probably see a difference in your day-to-day activities. You may be working or attending school online instead of in person. You may not be seeing your friends and family as regularly as you once did. You might be getting food and grocery delivery more frequently. And when you go into a public space, you are likely wearing a face mask.
All of these parts of our lives have changed in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. While they are important steps for protecting the health of both yourself and others, they are not without their own challenges. If you have hearing loss, wearing a face mask can present frustrations you have not experienced before. Here are a few tips for navigating hearing loss during the pandemic:
You May Have Hearing Loss

  • Since the public began wearing cloth face coverings, have you experienced more difficulty understanding speech?
  • Do you often need to ask people to repeat themselves, especially if they are wearing a face mask?
  • Do you need to turn up the volume on the TV or radio?

If so, you may have hearing loss. Speaking with people who are wearing face masks has highlighted this for many people who did not previously realize they had hearing loss. This is because wearing a face mask can affect the volume and clarity of speech. In addition, you can no longer rely on lip-reading or facial expressions to help you understand what is said.
If you believe you might have hearing loss, we encourage you to contact our hearing health professional today. We can provide you with a hearing test and help you find the solutions you need.
When You Have Hearing Loss
If you already know that you have hearing loss, you may still be experiencing new challenges during the pandemic. One new frustration may be wearing a face mask while also wearing hearing aids. The ear loops on the face mask might catch on your hearing aids, which can pull on your hearing aids. This might be even more challenging if you wear eyeglasses as well. Here are a few tips to make it easier:

  • Slowly and carefully remove your face mask. This can help prevent it from yanking out your hearing aids.
  • Consider using a face mask with fabric ties instead of elastic ear loops.
  • If you do wear a face covering with ear loops, try using a mask holder or one of these other solutions to prevent the loops from interfering with your hearing aids.

If you wear hearing aids and have found yourself having difficulty understanding people when they speak while wearing a face mask, talk to your hearing aid professional. Your hearing aids might need to be adjusted to accommodate for the muffling effects of the face covering.
To learn more about how to manage hearing loss during the coronavirus pandemic, we invite you to contact our hearing healthcare office today. We look forward to caring for you.

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It's Time To Be Proactive About Hearing Loss!

It’s no secret that 2020 was a difficult year for many people. You may be bidding 2020 not only good-bye but good riddance! So, with hopes for a better year in 2021, you may have set some New Year’s resolutions—or maybe you simply defined a few priorities in your life to focus on this year. Is your health one of them?
Your health might seem like an obvious priority (especially during a pandemic!). But while you resolve to take steps to protect yourself from COVID-19, get a regular annual checkup, eat healthier, or maintain a healthy weight, you shouldn’t neglect your hearing health.
Be honest: When was the last time you had your hearing checked? A Consumer Reports survey of more than 120,000 people found that nearly 30 percent of those surveyed had either gone more than a decade without having their hearing tested or had never had it tested. How often should you have your hearing tested? That depends on your age. Experts recommend that until the age of 50, you have your hearing checked once a decade. After the age of 50, you should have your hearing tested once every three years.
Your hearing health is too important to neglect (especially when hearing tests are painless and usually only take about 30 minutes!). Being proactive about your hearing health can pay off in big ways, both now and in the future. Good hearing health can:

  • Improve your relationships with your spouse, family members, and friends as you are able to better hear and understand them
  • Keep you safe as you will be able to hear fire alarms, sirens, safety warnings, and hazards like oncoming traffic
  • Enable you to hear the sounds you love, such as music and nature sounds
  • Give you increased confidence to interact with others and attend social events, even in noisy atmospheres
  • Remove the uncertainty of wondering whether you have hearing loss and how it can be treated

Hearing evaluations are excellent resources. While the tests are quick and painless, they can provide immeasurable value. Your hearing healthcare provider will administer the test and then review the results with you. If you have hearing loss, they will also discuss options with you for treating your hearing loss, such as hearing aids. This ensures that you receive the care and solutions you need. In some cases, hearing loss is a symptom of another health condition that can then be diagnosed and treated, such as infection, impacted earwax, kidney disease, heart disease, or diabetes.
In addition to restoring your ability to hear and understand your loved ones, diagnosing and treating hearing loss can also have a tremendous impact on your overall health. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to a greater risk for depression, anxiety, dementia, social isolation, and falls. You can reduce your risk for all of these serious conditions by simply having your hearing tested and treating any hearing loss.
To learn more about the importance of being proactive about hearing loss, we invite you to contact our hearing health professional today.