Wearing a face mask in public has become increasingly common, even required in some public places, during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been well documented that people with hearing loss have found it to be increasingly challenging to communicate with others who are wearing masks, as they muffle sound and eliminate lip reading cues.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the only challenge individuals with hearing loss face. The over-the-ear face mask, often the most common style, puts hearing aid wearers at risk for misplacing their behind-the-ear devices when they become entangled upon removal. So, what do N95 face masks, the children’s game “Barrel of Monkeys,” and headbands all have in common? They help provide solutions to this common problem!
Below we’ve listed some recommendations to help reduce your risk of losing your hearing aids:
If you do knock your hearing aids off when wearing a face mask, we suggest the following:
- Don’t panic.
- If you were fit with a Bluetooth hearing aid that is connected to your smart phone you can use the “Find My Hearing Aid” feature directly on the specific App on your smart phone. The app will indicate whether you are getting closer or farther from the device. Even if your hearing aid is lost outdoors and runs out of battery charge, your phone’s GPS will show where the hearing aid was when it was last connected.
- If you don’t have one of these devices, take your time and be patient. Zone off areas where it is most likely you lost your hearing aid.
If all else fails, contact your hearing healthcare professional to see if your device may be covered under a loss and damage policy.