Do you have mask-induced-hearing-loss?
The universal use of face-masks due to Covid-19 has put an extra strain on our communication. It’s harder to hear someone when they are speaking with a mask covering their face.
No visual cues
First, you cannot see a person’s lips, which normally give us extra clues as to what is being said. Second, there are less emotional and non-verbal cues, as less facial expressions are visible.
Speech is unclear
Speaking through a mask can distort the high pitch consonant speech sounds, making it sound as if everyone is mumbling. This can be aggravated by even a slight hearing loss.
Distant speech is softer
Social distancing is critical, but that extra gap between a speaker and listener means that the volume of speech is softer than usual.
Here’s some practical advice to facilitate easier communication…
- Have your hearing tested – even a slight loss of hearing can now be problematic
- If you have a hearing aid, make sure it has been serviced and reprogrammed recently
- Ask the person to speak slower
- Rephrase remarks if they aren’t understood
- Limit background noise – turn off music and move away from noisy traffic
- Face each other and maintain eye contact
- Be more intentional with your communication – no flippant comments while you are walking away
Take an online hearing screening test here, it’s free… you just need 3 minutes and some earphones.