Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityHow COVID-19 is causing issues for those hard of hearing | KTVL
Close Alert

How COVID-19 is causing issues for those hard of hearing

Imaginears has locations in Medford and Ashland.{ } (Courtesy: Kathleen Tangel){ }{p}{/p}
Imaginears has locations in Medford and Ashland. (Courtesy: Kathleen Tangel)

Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon

A local audiologist said she's been seeing an increase in patients due to problems with COVID-19 masks.

Dr. Elizabeth Tangel Au. D., Imaginears, said it's not just happening locally, it's a problem nationwide.

"It's been about a handful of patients that I've seen this happen with, but I'm on many other audiology groups on Facebook, and it's happening everywhere," Tangel said.

Tangel said the ear loops on masks have either been pulling out the devices, or patients have accidentally been pulling out their device when removing their mask.

"So, we've had patients who have been in a supermarket parking lot, they take their mask off before they get in their car. They get home, then they realize their hearing aid isn't on," Tangel said.

Tangel said the devices sometimes have a warranty, but if they don't, a hearing device can cost thousands of dollars to replace.

Tangel said not only are patients losing their hearing aids, but they're also having a hard time communicating without being able to see people's mouths.

"We all use visual cues for communication, so even with people who have normal hearing, if we're looking at the person, we're going to understand them a lot better because of the visual cues" Tangel said explaining that visual cues are even more important for those hard of hearing.

Tangel said we need to be patient with one another and talk slower when communicating while wearing the masks.

She said masks with clear plastic over the mouth can help solve this problem.

"It's important for caregivers or family members to help out people who are wearing masks," she said advising individuals to "hold your hearing device while putting on the mask, or take the hearing device off before taking off your mask."

Tangel said masks that tie behind the head, or even a scarf that you can put over your head, are the best options to avoid this altogether.

Read more Coronavirus coverage here.

Loading ...