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Making Sense of Masks

Time to Read: 3 minutes

Asian woman sneeze with maskWhile wearing masks while out and about is not part of Australia’s Covid-19 strategy for the general public, you might see more people wearing them more frequently as we approach the peak cold and flu season.

Masks are great for limiting the spread of gems if you’re coming down with the sniffles or have a cough.

Asian countries have a long custom of wearing face masks during the flu season - especially those who live in large cities and use public transport.

More broadly here in Australia, health professionals, and people who are working up close and personal, may need to wear masks but where does that leave you if you are wearing hearing aids?

You might be surprised that everyone uses a little bit of lipreading to get context for conversations - even people with perfect hearing.

Wearing masks not only covers people’s mouths and noses, they also muffle sounds, making them indistinct. This problem is even more acute when you’re wearing hearing aids.

So, what can be done?

Some service providers are exploring the idea of wearing clear masks but they are relatively new to the market and not widely used as yet.

Until they are more common, there are some practical tips you can ask people to use when talking to you with a mask on.

  • Ask if there is a quiet space to talk 
  • Speak slowly and clearly 
  • Ask them not to shout 
  • Make sure you are wearing your hearing aid
  • Consider using a portable hearing aid amplifier
  • Ask questions and don’t be afraid to ask them to rephrase remarks if not understood

We have some great articles here on how to effectively communicate

The Man In The Iron Mask-1

And since masks are becoming a more common feature in our civic landscape, we thought we might take a little look at some popular films that feature masks.

Some of our favourites include:

  • The Man In The Iron Mask
  • Mask (Cher)
  • Mask (Jim Carrey)
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • V for Vendetta

Check out some of the others on this list.