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COVID-19 Latest updates from Cubex Audiologist during the COVID-19 outbreak, following guidelines from Public Health England, WHO and the NHS.

Guide to wearing a face mask with hearing aids

face mask with hearing aids and sunglasses

With thanks to one of the world’s leading hearing technology companies, Phonak, we have a useful guide to share explaining ways to wear a face mask alongside your hearing aids, for both adult and pediatric patients.

As of this week, face coverings have become mandatory on public transport in England. It is therefore so important to be able to wear them comfortably, and in a way which won’t interfere with your hearing technology.  We have summarised the helpful suggestions below, with links to download the more detailed PPE guidance from Phonak.

Ways to wear a face mask with hearing aids for adults

The guide from Phonak shows the various types of face masks available, including tie-on face masks, N95 respirator masks and the more common type, a face mask with an elastic band.

Face Masks with Elastic Bands

For elastic band face masks which are designed to go around the ear, there are a number of ways you can make adaptations to avoid looping it around the ear, where it may interfere with your hearing aid.  Below is a summary of the suggestions from Phonak with a link to the full guidance document below.

Option 1 – Use a mask extender, such as a paperclip, shoelace or ribbon.

Option 2 – Sew two buttons onto either side of a hat

Option 3 – Attach the mask via a ponytail

Option 4 – Attach the face mask to a headband or alice band using buttons

Option 5  – Attach face mask to a barrette / hair clip above the ear

Download the full guide

Ways to wear a face mask with hearing aids for Children

The best way to keep hearing aids secure when wearing a mask is to put the hearing aids on first and the mask second. This way the hearing aids stay in place with the elastic in front of them

The above options would also work well for children, such as attaching the face mask to a sweatband, hairclip or ponytail.

It’s important to also try to make mask wearing fun for children, as they can seem a little scary at first.  The Phonak guide lists some ways to make mask-wearing fun for children with hearing aids, including:

  • Putting a face mask on their favourite doll or stuffed animal
  • Have them dress up as their favourite superhero, including the mask
  • Design their own face mask with a fun print
  • Provide lots of reassurance
  • Refer to additional resources from the WHO, including a book for children to learn about COVID-19 and wearing masks.
Download the full guide

 

 

Tips for speaking to someone with hearing loss while wearing a face mask

It can be challenging for someone with a hearing loss to hear you when you are wearing a face mask.  Phonak have provided some tips to help:

  • Reduce environmental noise
  • Obtain the persons attention before you start speaking
  • Speak slowly
  • Ask them how they prefer to communicate
  • Rephrase remarks if not understood
  • Do not shout, over-emphasize or over-exagerate your words
  • Be patient, kind and courteous.
Download the full guide

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