Tips for Communicating with Face Masks and Social Distancing

Hearing loss affects millions of individuals worldwide every single day, posing a slew of communication challenges for many.

However, these challenges have increased greatly since the use of face masks and maintaining a safe distance between others per recommendations set forth by the Centre for Disease Control.

These challenges can be experienced by both those with untreated and even treated hearing loss.

These include:

  • Inability to read lips when the face is covered
  • Trouble hearing over a distance when practicing social distancing
  • Sounds can become muffled when someone is speaking behind a mask, face-shields  and clear plexiglass dividers
  • Trouble hearing your devices with Increased time at home watching TV, or using the phone and computer to virtually communicate with friends and family

Fortunately, there are some tips and solutions to make this new normal more accessible:

  • Let others know how they can accommodate you:
    • Whether is is at work, shopping, or visiting loved ones for a socially distant gathering, let others know you have trouble hearing and what you need to communicate, such as using a messaging system, email or writing note
  • Use gestures to show you cannot hear
  • If someone is attempting to communicate with you and you cannot hear or understand, gesture to your ear to indicate that you cannot hear what they’re saying. Most are aware of these general gestures and will understand what you’re saying.
  • Do not beat yourself up!
    • Even those without hearing loss are having these difficulties but it can be even harder for someone with hearing loss or deafness. Don’t beat yourself up, it’s OK not to hear! It’s okay to misunderstand. You’re human.
  • Have your hearing aids checked or adjusted
    • If your hearing aids are not programmed properly, they could be worsening your ability to hear others as well as your electronics. In addition to an adjustment, we can also suggest various accessories that can enhance the use of your hearing aids.
  • Did you know? You can stream your phone calls, TV, music and more directly to your hearing aids using Bluetooth. Ask us how!
  • Have your hearing tested
    • If you do not wear hearing aids and are experiencing difficulty hearing, give our clinic a call and we would be happy to discuss your challenges and perform a hearing assessment.

During this time of uncertainty, frustration, and overwhelm, we can support each other through patience, empathy, and acceptance. For the hearing community, even if you think there’s nothing you can do, there’s always something!

Call (604) 294-1080 to schedule your appointment today!