Constantia 021 797 7948 | Claremont 079 891 4971 | Tokai 021 715 5623 | Fish Hoek 021 782 3322

In the current COVID-19 Coronavirus situation, many people are choosing to wear facemasks when out in public. These masks can help to protect yourself and those around you. However, we know that for many people with hearing loss, seeing the person’s face, or specifically their mouth, is crucial in hearing everything that they are saying. One of our primary communication strategies that we recommend to people with hearing loss is look at the person’s face- which becomes a lot more difficult when you cannot see half of it! While we must try to remain at home, it is possible that one may need to communicate with a teller at the supermarket or with a healthcare provider during this time. Here are some Tips and Tricks when communicating with someone wearing a mask.

Make sure your hearing aids are working

Always be sure that you are getting the best possible sound in to your ears. Check that your hearing aids are on, with fresh batteries, and that the tubes or wax guards are clear, before you leave the house. If you haven’t had a hearing test in a while, or if the aids haven’t been adjusted, try to see your audiologist to make sure they are in the best possible shape. If you cannot get to the audiologist, contact them and see if they can help you to troubleshoot your aids on a video chat platform.

Tell them about your hearing loss

Be confident and share that fact that you have hearing loss with the person you are speaking to if you feel comfortable. Remember that they are more likely to modify their speech, or try to help, if they know why you aren’t hearing them.

Wear a mask yourself

Many service providers and communication partners will be more likely to remove or lower their mask while communicating with you if you are wearing one. Remember that wearing a mask limits the virus’ ability to enter or exit, so your wearing a mask helps to keep them safe as well. However, respect their choice to continue to wear their mask should they choose to.

Ask them to communicate in another way

If all else fails, ask them to use gestures or write down what they are trying to say. Remember to observe good infection control and do not share pens or paper, and try to keep to social distancing protocols to limit the spread of the virus.

We strongly recommend that you follow the protocols laid out by our president and avoid leaving your home unless absolutely necessary. However, if you really must leave your home and have to speak to someone wearing a mask, we hope that these tips will help. For more information, or to share your experiences, comment below, or contact us.