Are Pandemic Safety Measures Making it Harder for you to Communicate?
Many of the CDC recommendations for preventing the spread of the virus are creating communication problems for the 48 million Americans1 (approximately 20% of the population) who are living with hearing loss (even those with the mildest cases).
Muffled Speech – Face masks may help to slow the spread of the virus from person to person, but it also creates muffled speech, making words more difficult to understand.
Hearing at a distance – Responsible social distancing suggests that you should maintain six feet or more between yourself and others to minimize transmission of the virus. Unfortunately, the further you are from someone, the more difficult it is to hear them. Research by the Acoustical Society of America also suggests that moving farther away decreases a person’s attention span for focusing on understanding speech.
Visual Cues – Another unintended consequence of face masks and social distancing is the elimination of visual cues like facial expressions, body language, and lip reading, which are vital for the human brain to process and understand speech. Whether you are participating in a virtual meeting (i.e. Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, etc.) or are in-person but behind a face covering, it is more difficult to connect with and understand others.
If you have a hearing loss (whether diagnosed or not), you are probably both exhausted and increasingly frustrated when trying to communicate while abiding by the recommended guidelines to keep yourself and others safe and healthy.
The good news is that we understand your challenges and have solutions to help you, during this time of wearing masks and beyond. Call the hearing experts at Nola Aronson’s Advanced Audiology today to learn more about our assistive technology options and effective strategies for boosting communication. With so many things out of your control at this time, you can still choose communication strategies that will improve your quality of life.
For more information, please call 661-210-3582 or visit us at www.SCVAdvancedAudiology.com!
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