GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)-People with hearing loss face challenges when trying to listen to someone who is wearing a mask. Wearing a face mask may impair the ability of some people to communicate with ease because it prevents lip reading and it can reduce the level of speech transmitted from the mouth.
At the very least, removing visual cues can make communication more taxing because of the mental exertion required to listen, especially when there is background noise. As a result, even if a person can follow what is said, they have fewer mental resources left to think about and recall what they heard.
Here are ways to effectively communicate with individuals with hearing loss:
· Reduce the room’s noise and get the persons attention
· Speak slowly and clearly
· Face each other (at a safe distance)
· Rephrase remarks if not understood
· Take turns while speaking to the patient
· If obtainable, masks with clear plastic make lip reading easier