Hello, I am Sue Krutt AuD the Director of Audiology here at Connecticut Ear Nose Throat Medical and Surgical Specialists PC. Today, I am introducing our new information outlet “Dr. Sue’s Hearing Blog. I will try as often as I can to update this, cover as many topics related to ears as possible, have guest bloggers and articles and sometimes talk about things other than hearing.
Today I would like to talk about masks. Everyone needs to wear them. Evidence is mounting that not only are we protecting others, we are also protecting ourselves by wearing a mask. So…. please wear one.
Unfortunately, there can be unintended negative consequences of wearing masks. I want to communicate how difficult it is for hearing impaired people to understand others while a mask is on, and how we can help. A mask covering our mouths muffles the sound and volume of our voices. Even when using a hearing aid, it is difficult, especially when people are socially distanced. I would like to encourage everyone to consider using clear masks. This is a website you can get them from https://www.phlsew.com/product-page/lipreadingmask . This is the Philadelphia Sewing & Co. a great company to supply your mask needs.
Although still muffled, the clear mask will allow the hearing impaired person to use lip reading in addition to hearing. This will help them understand and communicate more easily. In addition to speaking slowly and clearly, writing things down can also be beneficial.
I would like to recommend an article by NPR Journalist Mary Louise Kelly that was recently in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Pandemic has Made my Hearing Problem even more of a Problem.” This article should help you understand how difficult it is to communicate with a mask on when you have hearing issues. According to Ms. Kelly “Having Hearing loss is a challenge, but trying to hear when people are wearing masks is even more difficult. Speak slowly and loudly. Be patient, be kind, be courteous.”
Thank you for sharing in our first hearing blog. Until next time…..