This article was originally published in the January 2021 edition of Heartrepreneur® Magazine. Read and purchase the full magazine edition here.
Now That People Are Wearing Masks, Are You Tired of Saying “What?”
Is this you? Face masks are now required in many public places to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. If you have noticed that having a normal conversation is frustrating and that you are asking people to repeat what they have said, you are not alone. Face masks add an extra challenge to hear normal conversation when they are speaking to you with a mask on their face.
A friend’s mom who works in a dental office recently shared with me that because of face masks, when patients arrive, she is really struggling to hear what they are saying. Unconsciously, when we speak with other people, we use visual cues, like reading lips, to help us hear and understand what is being said. But now, with face masks covering people’s mouths, those visual cues are gone. Those with even a mild hearing loss are now finding it much more difficult to have a normal conversation without saying “what”.
Helpful strategies for communicating when wearing a mask include:
• Asking others to speak slowly, clearly and at a normal volume.
• Rephrase remarks when not understood.
• Take turns when speaking.
• If wearing hearing aids, make sure to have them on.
• Keep background noise in the room to a minimum.
• Face each other (from a safe distance).
So now what? If you are frustrated and ready to hear a conversation without missing a thing, you should get the help you need now. At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey, we utilize our proprietary H.E.A.R. Method™ in hearing aid selection, verification and fitting so that you never miss another word—guaranteed.
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