Wearing a mask and hearing aids at the same time can be tricky. In the limited time that we have all been wearing masks, we have heard several stories of losing hearing aids, flinging hearings aids off accidentally, and more! We want to help you keep your hearing aids safe, so we have compiled a list of tips for taking care of your hearings aids while wearing a mask.
Start By Selecting the Right Mask
Length of straps
Straps that are too short will pull your ears forward, causing discomfort as well as making your hearing aids less secure. Ensure that your ears are able rest in their natural position when the mask is in place.
Thickness of straps
Because there is limited real estate behind your ear, a mask with thin elastics or strings will allow you to fit both your hearing aid and straps behind your ear without competing for space. Wider straps are also more likely to pull your ears forward, even at the appropriate length.
Position of straps
While many masks have straps behind the ear, there are also some which have the straps around the back of the head. This may make removal easier and provide better comfort. If you cannot find a mask with these kinds of straps, you can purchase or make face mask adapters which hook ear straps behind your neck or head.
Removing Your Mask
How to remove
When taking off your mask, try to remove your straps from the top of the ear to the bottom. This can help avoid the strap tangling with your hearing aid and pulling it out of your ear. The easiest method is to place one finger on each side between your mask and your head, just in front of your ear. Then slowly sweep your fingers back and trace your way down the back of your ear.
When to remove
If you are concerned about your hearing aid falling out of your ear when removing your mask, be sure you are in a secure location before taking it off. This may mean waiting until you are inside your car or home to avoid losing it in a parking lot or driveway.
REMEMBER: Removing your own mask will not help you hear better! If you are having difficulty with your conversation partner, be sure to practice good communication strategies, such as asking for a rephrasing instead of repetition, asking for speech to be louder or slower, and reducing background noise. If you must have the other person remove their mask to read their lips, be sure to maintain appropriate social distancing.