As communities consider relaxing restrictions put in place for COVID-19, people are still advised to wear face masks for preventative measures. Face masks and hearing aids do not mix well for many patients. People with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, especially, face new challenges with this! Here are some simple tips on wearing a face mask for hearing aid users:
1. Look for masks that utilize elastic bands or fabric ties around the head and neck rather than elastic ear loops. This should reduce interference with the hearing aids compared to using masks with ear loops.
2. If you are unable to find a mask with fabric ties, consider using a mask holder. This pulls the ear loops of your mask behind your head, again reducing the interference with your hearing aids. If you are crafty, mask holders can be made at home. A variety of templates can be found online. Otherwise, Etsy has a wide variety of affordable mask holders that can fit everyone’s personal style.
3. When wearing a mask, use care when placing and removing your mask to prevent the hearing aids from accidentally being pulled out. If possible, wait to remove your mask until you are at home, or another safe location. This way, if your hearing aids come out when you remove your mask, they can be found easily, and without damage.
Unfortunately, it seems like face masks will be a necessary part of life for the foreseeable future. Until it is safe to resume normal life without wearing a face mask, all we can do is try to make it easier for our patients to wear face masks and hearing aids together.
At Merit Hearing, we are currently requiring all of our staff and patients to wear face masks for their appointments, so that we can do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Post written by Dr. Ashley Price, Au.D
Keep an eye out for her next blog post on COVID-19: “Communicating with Face Masks”