Given the global pandemic going on, masks have become commonplace. Depending on where you live, entering a public place means you must wear a mask. Whether or not it’s become law, you should still use a mask for health precautions.
Unfortunately, as many people have experienced, wearing a mask with hearing aids can prove to be difficult. If you have behind-the-ear hearing aids, the straps from the mask may directly interfere with your hearing aids.
If you want to learn how to wear a mask with a hearing aid, you’ve come to the right place. As masks in public might become the new norm, easing the inconvenience and problems masks cause is necessary.
Tips for Wearing a Mask with Hearing Aids
Using a mask while wearing hearing aids can be more than just uncomfortable. Hearing aid users may not always pay attention to their hearing aids. Some adults may be in a hurry to get somewhere. Children could be distracted by something. If hearing aid users were to take off or put a mask on, without paying attention, the straps from the mask may cause a hearing aid to fall off. This takes us to our first tip!
- Try to be mindful when you take your mask off and put it on. Being careful and paying attention to your hearing aids during these acts is the first way to mitigate the risks of losing one of them. If you have a child who wears hearing aids, try putting on and taking off the mask for them. This may reduce the risk of their hearing aids falling off as well. Throughout the day, keep an eye out for your child’s hearing aids while they are wearing a mask as well.
- Find a facemask that uses cloth straps rather than elastic straps. These straps may be more comfortable and less likely to dislocate your hearing aids. You can place them directly over the top of your hearing aids which may help to keep them in place. The lack of elastic would ease the pressure and discomfort as well.
- If you have long hair, you have the perfect spot for your straps to stay. Pull your hair back and place it in a bun. Then, put the straps around your hair bun. This takes the straps away from your ears while keeping the mask secured to your face. If the elastic is too uncomfortable. Try finding a mask with cotton straps and do the same.
- Try finding or making a mask that uses ties instead of straps. Various venders or online companies sell masks that are designed to be tied around the back of your head. These may be more comfortable and less likely to affect your hearing aids.
- Make your own mask. Many people have created video tutorials on how to create masks for hearing aid users. These masks are creative, stylish, and much more convenient. You can go to a local shop to pick up some fabric and some string or elastic straps. By following a video, you can sew your own mask to be a perfect fit for yourself. Plus, it’ll be unique!
- Rather than put straps around your ears, use a headband with a button or hook sewed onto it. With a button, you can hook the elastic straps directly over the button. Thus, the straps are away from your hearing aids.
- Similarly, you can use a piece of fabric and sew two buttons on either end. Place the piece of fabric on the back of your head, and hook the straps around the buttons. This keeps the straps away from your ears. The mask will still be firm and secure on your face as well.
- Purchase a cord and clip that you can attach to your hearing aids. Just like people use straps to keep their glasses around their neck, similar products exist for hearing aids. These products ensure your hearing aids are secured to your body at all times. Even if a mask happens to knock off your hearing aids, they’ll be secured with the cord and clip system.
Some people with hearing aids opt for other protection instead of a mask. One option is using a neck gaiter or a bandana. These items are common in households, easy to wear, and more comfortable than a facemask. A neck gaiter can be worn around the neck and pulled up over the nose to protect oneself. A bandana offers similar usage.
Bandanas need to be tied around the neck, though. Bandanas and neck gaiters are either made of cotton or synthetic fiber which is more comfortable than having elastic straps around the ears. Plus, using one of these two options will not interfere with hearing aids.
Another option is to use a plastic face shield. These have gained popularity recently as they don’t require the use of elastic straps. Using face shields may be more comfortable and convenient compared to masks.
Losing Hearing Aids While Wearing a Mask
If you have lost your hearing aids while wearing a mask, try not to stress or panic. If you have a pair of hearing aids that connect to a smartphone app, see if you can locate your hearing aid. You may be able to quickly find them without any problems.
If you do not have that technology, think about the last places you were in. Try to remember the last time you noticed your hearing aid. This could be the last time you felt it or if you noticed your hearing worsened randomly.
Begin to think of locations in groups. Take areas that you know you still had them out of your mind and move on to the next place you wore them.
If you cannot find your hearing aid, call your audiologist or the prescribing doctor. Your hearing aids may be under warranty which covers the loss.