Hearing Through Face Masks – Part 2

Q.  I had trouble understanding people before all of this social distancing and face mask wearing.  Now it is much worse.  How can hearing aids help me understand a person when they have a face mask on?

A.  If you have hearing loss, it will be much more difficult for you to understand someone with a face mask on because 1) you cannot ‘see’ them talking, and 2) their voice is somewhat muffled and garbled by their face mask.

  It is time for you to set up a thorough hearing evaluation, one that allows you to listen to hearing aids if you do in fact have some hearing loss.

  Your hearing loss means you are not able to detect some portions of speech as well as others.  For most people this occurs when a portion of the inner ear nerve fibers that detect sounds are weakened or damaged.  Those nerves are unable to send a full sound signal to the brain.  When your brain receives a weak sound signal, you do not hear and understand well.

  Hearing aids from a proper hearing center are programmed to each person’s specific and unique hearing loss.  They only fill in the parts of speech that you would otherwise miss.  The extra information from the hearing aids allows your inner ear nerves to send a more complete sound signal to your brain.  As a result, you will hear much more easily, distinctly and clearly, even when a person has a face mask on.

  Call us at the Better Hearing Center of Austin.  We are making appointments for new patients on a selective basis.  Get your ears checked and your hearing tested.  Then listen to some hearing aids.  We provide coaching and adjustments during a 4-week hearing aid trial for patients to fully test hearing aids before they make a final purchase. 

Saleem Assaf (BA – Rice, MBA – UT) is a native Dallas, Texan and a recipient of KVUE’s 2020 award for 5 Who Care and the Texas Hearing Aid Association’s 2018 Dispenser of the Year award.  Outside his practice, Saleem volunteers for hearing healthcare in Austin and abroad.  Since 2008, he has provided $178,000 in hearing aids to students at the Texas School for the Deaf.