How to Wear a Face Mask With Your Hearing Aids
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC is recommending that everyone wear face masks in public to prevent the spread of the virus. For individuals who wear behind-the-ear hearing aids, the use of a face mask with elastic worn around the ears can cause irritation on the ear, as well as an increased risk of losing the hearing aid. Adults or children may forget they are wearing hearing aids. Then when a face mask is removed, it can cause the hearing aids to come off or be broken near the tubing or wire.
5 Tips for Wearing Your Hearing Aids with a Face Mask
Here are five solutions that may help prevent problems when wearing hearing aids and face masks:
- Pull back any long hair into a bun or with an elastic tie.
- Rather than looping the elastic of the mask on the ears, utilize button extensions for the mask (which can be made or bought).
- Obtain a mask that has four strings and ties behind the head rather than worn with elastic on the ears.
- Check that the hearing aid is still in place during and following removal of the mask.
- Remove your mask at home in an open area so if the hearing aids fall to the ground it can be found more easily.
If your hearing aid is compatible with a smart phone, you may be able to use a phone app to help detect a lost hearing aid. In general, the app indicates the last time the hearing aid and phone were connected. If you have lost or broken your hearing aid, contact your audiologist right away to find out if you are eligible for a replacement.
How to Use a Mask Extension with Hearing Aids
The images below demonstrate how to keep long hair pulled back and away from hearing aids along with the use of a mask extension. The mask extender can also be worn at the base of the head with the mask loops positioned below the ears.
Use a mask extender to keep mask straps from interfering with hearing aid use.
Pull long hair back and away from mask straps and hearing aids.
Communication Challenges and Tips While Wearing Face Masks
Wearing a face mask creates additional challenges for communication for people with and without hearing loss. Boys Town Audiology shares some tips to help you communicate effectively while wearing a face mask.