Your tips: Making communication clear when wearing a facemask

Facemasks make clear communication harder for everyone, but especially for people with hearing loss.
Here’s a quick tip sheet from the Danish Association of the Hard of Hearing in partnership with HLAA and the IDA Institute
Communication tips when using face masks

What do you want people to know? What are your tips for how people can improve communication when wearing a mask?

@nap

Could you tell me the specific mask you feel is ok for the hearing aids?

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There really isn't a perfect mask for people who use hearing aids. You have to figure out what is comfortable for you, and make sure you are aware of your personal hearing devices when you remove the mask. I prefer those that tie behind my head, but others find those uncomfortable. I often put on a baseball hat when I need to don a mask because it helps hold the ties in place. Others have said they don't wear hats. The window masks should be worn by other people who work with or socialize with us. We don't need those unless we are with other people with hearing loss. They keep advertising them 'for deaf and hard of hearing people', but they are to help those people by having others use them. 🙂

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@mark888

I had to go in to an urgent care about a month ago. I wasn't sure how I would be able to understand everyone wearing masks, so I asked the receptionist and the doctors to write down anything they wanted to say to me. They had a little dry erase board, which worked perfectly. In fact, I liked it better than my regular mode of communication for appointments–using lip reading and Live Transcribe. The app doesn't always catch everything accurately and I'm often asking the doctors to repeat themselves. I'm planning on buying a little dry erase board that I can bring with me in a shoulder bag.

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***Note from the Community Director ***
This post has been removed. Please see the Community Guidelines https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/tab/community-guidelines/

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@peach414144

***Note from the Community Director ***
This post has been removed. Please see the Community Guidelines https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/tab/community-guidelines/

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Hi @peach414144, please take note that you are posting in the Hearing Loss group. This is a welcoming and safe place where people living with hearing loss from mild to severe, hard of hearing or complete hearing loss learn, teach and share together. The discussion is about how we who do not have hearing loss can communicate while wearing a mask with people who live with hearing loss, who rely on lip reading and facial expressions.

This is also an opportunity to post the Community Guidelines https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/tab/community-guidelines/
Please take note of guideline 2:
2. Remain respectful at all times.
– Personal attacks against members or health care providers are not acceptable. Such posts will be removed.

For this reason, the above post was removed. If anyone has any concerns about this action, please write to me using this form: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/contact-a-community-moderator/

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There is a misunderstanding on my part somewhere. I must be a big fool for doing what you say i have done. send me a copy of what I have done so I will NEVER, NEVER do this again. I am so very very sorry to all. Please believe me. No one is all knowing and I have done hurt without knowing it . I need to atone for this and never do this again, I am ignorant in this. Straighten me out please, please. Peach

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@peach414144

There is a misunderstanding on my part somewhere. I must be a big fool for doing what you say i have done. send me a copy of what I have done so I will NEVER, NEVER do this again. I am so very very sorry to all. Please believe me. No one is all knowing and I have done hurt without knowing it . I need to atone for this and never do this again, I am ignorant in this. Straighten me out please, please. Peach

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Hi @peach414144, your apology is appreciated and accepted. Please see the private message I sent you or send me a message using this form https://connect.mayoclinic.org/contact-a-community-moderator/
We can talk privately and leave this discussion on it topic of hearing loss and communication with masks.

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Hi, I read this and I did find something which would help me. My hearing is bad. I wear hearing aids and still have a problem with hearing. So, the masks make it extremely difficult to hear. I tell people I can't hear them, point to my hearing aids and say: "I am sorry but I have a hearing problem" Most of the time, the people talk much louder. I found online a mask which reads: "SPEAK UP, I HAVE A HEARING LOSS". I haven't ordered one yet but intend to do so. Woogie by the way, these masks are pretty and I will be happy to get mine.

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Let us know if that new mask helps. I have a pin on button that I've worn when traveling that says "Please face me I lipread". Right now that's not much help, but it does help in 'normal times'. 🙂

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@julieo4

Another issue with masks is that they can easily pull a hearing aid off a person's ear when they are removed. This is especially true with those that have elastic that fits behind the ears where there is a hearing aid and a glasses bow. I know two people who have lost hearing aids this way. I prefer using masks that tie behind my head.

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I'm trying to train myself to check my hearing aids to make sure they have not slipped off every time I remove my mask. I've come very close to losing them several times when I've discovered they were just "barely" hanging there after I'd taken off mask. The tie masks do not stay on me well and slip down, so have to use elastic….its all a challenge that is for sure!

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