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Hearing well and staying safe

We can’t start our news update without discussing the changes we have all had to make during the current pandemic. We have all had to adapt our lifestyles in order to keep each other safe on a daily basis.

As hearing healthcare professionals, we have also had to adapt our protocols and the way we run our clinics so that our patients all stay safe and are advised on how to stay hearing well at the same time.

It is amazing how much we all rely on visual cues and gestures whether we have experienced changes to our hearing or not. As there are lots of different styles of hearing aids, we have had to think very carefully about how we incorporate the use of a face mask for safety alongside the use of hearing aids as well.

We have a few top tips from Nish Vasant, our lead clinical hearing care professional, that may help you wear a face mask to keep yourself safe and also stay hearing at your best with your hearing aids.

CHOOSE THE STYLE OF HEARING AID RIGHT FOR YOU 

You may not know that there are different types of hearing aids, most people have been used to seeing the ones that sit behind your ear but more commonly these days, you can get many that can hardly be seen or that are invisible to the naked eye. These are called in the ear or custom hearing aids and many of our patients have the opportunity to choose these based on their audiogram (hearing test results).

We find that these sit so comfortably in the ear, that the normal PPE masks can still be worn using the four strings that sit behind the ear. Of course, the behind the ear style hearing aids can also be worn with a face mask in this way but the wearer has to be very careful that when they remove the mask, they do not also remove the hearing aids and misplace them.

It is wise to talk to your hearing care professional about which option is best for you, our team at Fresh Hearing are always happy to help.

HEARING AID SAFETY 

Other facial items and hearing aids, such as glasses or a mask can cause issues and impair good communication when not set up correctly together.

We have lots of tips for our patients but a few that may benefit you if you wear hearing aids are that if your hair can be put up in a ponytail or a bun, you can use this to fix the four elastic straps (on a standard PPE mask) to keep the strings away from your ears all together. The strings themselves will sit up high over your ears and will not get in the way.

You can also use a band, strap, or fixing that will hold the mask down low at the back of your head again avoiding your ears so as not to cause a problem whist our hearing aids are securely on your ears.

There are lots of nifty tips that we have seen from some of our clients, where they have sewn buttons on headbands or similar just to keep the elastic straps out of the way of their ears so you can get on with your daily life and enjoy hearing well in every moment.

Of course, you don’t want to be without your hearing aids so we would advise that when you remove your mask, try and do it in an enclosed space or somewhere where you can carefully take it off just in case your hearing aids fall out at the same time so you do not lose them.

In the event that you do lose your hearing aids please get in touch with us as we can help you stay hearing well and not be without them. This is quite common so don’t worry or feel embarrassed if you do lose it.

HANDS FREE

We have found that it can also be very helpful to keep your hands free when removing your mask. Finish the task that you are doing i.e. put your shopping in a safe place if you are out at the supermarket and then sit in your car where you can either hold your hearing aid with one hand and remove the mask with the other, or remove your hearing aid all together for a moment and pop it in a safe place just whilst you get yourself comfortable. Trying to do too many things at once will undoubtably end in a mess!

DON’T PUT YOUR HEARING IN A SPIN! 

If you use a fabric face mask it can be easy to remove it when you want to pop it in the wash but please be careful not to remove it along with your hearing aids. This reminds us of some of the patients hearing aids we have seen that I’ve been chewed up by their pets or dropped in water!

Sometimes these are repairable but sometimes they are not so it is wise to just make sure that before doing your washing in the washing machine or by hand that your hearing aids are dry and somewhere safe. Some of our patients choose to buy a drying box and keep that by the washing machine so they can put their hearing aids in there when they are not using them.

We hope these tips have helped but we have plenty more from our experts! We are dedicated to helping you hear better so please get in touch if you have any questions at all. Click here to fill out our contact form.

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