The coronavirus pandemic, declared in mid-March, 2020, has changed everyone’s life in countless ways. One of the greatest factors, though, is the shared experience of isolation. People often think of isolation as the inability to see each other, but it also has to do with the ability to hear and speak to one another. People with hearing loss during COVID-19 have had to face unprecedented challenges, but there are plenty of resources to overcome them.
Masks, Communication, and Hearing Loss
Many people have pointed out the challenges of connecting with others when wearing face masks. It is difficult to read their facial expressions, and hard to remember faces you’ve never seen before. Reading facial expressions is one part of normal, in-person communication. Those with hearing loss also lose out on the visual cues, particularly when it comes to lip-reading. Lip-reading is one way to aid in translating slightly muffled speech; the consonants f, t, s, and th may disappear more easily, but are more apparent visually.
Face masks also pose another challenge, but aurally. With a covering over the mouth, speech automatically becomes more muffled than it might be. With the addition of a clear plastic barrier at the retail checkout counter, hearing speech becomes even harder.
Everyone might be at some disadvantage in catching another’s speech, but some might discover that they have hearing loss through this experience. They may realize it is harder for them to pick up sounds than they knew. Whether hearing loss is a current condition or a discovery, there are plenty of ways to overcome it.
Tips for Overcoming Hearing Loss Today
As many continue to spend much time at home, a person can maintain and strengthen his or her hearing health through Aural Rehabilitation exercises, which one can find online. Practicing listening is also important. Listening to audiobooks or reading aloud 15 minutes a day are good ways to do this. In addition, Memory Training workbooks can help keep the brain, a vital part of hearing health, sharp.
Ask family and friends to speak slower, not louder. The brain adjusts to different volumes, but slow speech gives more time for it to process information. You can also help one another by wearing clear masks and by verbally expressing emotions.
If you wear hearing aids but still struggle to hear, or do not have hearing aids, you can come to Clarity Audiology in Ellicott City, MD, for an evaluation. They also offer a cognitive health test for well-rounded results.
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that are personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.