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Talking to others with a face mask


Face mask communication tips for people with hearing difficulties

With more people wearing face masks to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, communication is becoming more difficult. This is especially true for those with hearing loss or deafness. Here are some tips for talking to people while wearing a face mask and understanding them if they have a face mask on.


Talking to others with a face mask

If you prefer to wear a face mask at work or while doing your errands, here’s how to speak clearly and make communication easier.

  • Use visuals. Infographics, photos and drawings can all help to get your point across. These are especially helpful if they illustrate ideas or things that you need to repeat often during the day.
  • Gesture and point. Body language and hand gestures are some of the best ways to help others understand your meaning. It’s a good idea to exaggerate head movements like nods to make sure people understand you.
  • Write it down. This may be the quickest and most effective way to be understood. You can carry a pad and paper with you or simply type it into a note-taking app on your smartphone.
  • Be patient. Conversation may take longer while wearing a mask, so be patient if the person you’re speaking to seems to have trouble understanding.
  • Rephrase instead of repeating. Using simpler phrases or different words may be necessary.


If you’re having trouble understanding

Here are some tips for understanding people that are talking to you with a face mask:

  • Move away from the noise. Ambient noise can make it harder to hear the already muffled sounds of someone talking with a mask on. Moving to a quieter area may help you make out what’s being said.
  • Use hand gestures. Let people know you can’t understand what they’re saying with hand movements and body language.
  • Use context clues. Let your current situation be your guide as you try to decipher what someone is saying to you.
  • Repeat what you hear. In order to make sure you’ve heard correctly, repeat back what was said. The person you’re talking to will be able to confirm or deny if what you heard was accurate.
  • Ask for clarification Don’t be shy to ask someone to repeat what they said or explain something to you again if necessary.


Schedule a hearing test

Whether or not you wear a face mask, your hearing is integral to having clear speech and communication. If you’re having trouble understanding the world around you, your hearing may be too blame. Visit Soundwave Hearing Care for advice. Call one of our clinics today to schedule a hearing test.

All the blogs are reviewed and edited by our clinic's lead audiologist, Dr. Anne Wooliams. Dr. Woolliams is an experienced audiologist specialized in pediatric audiology, auditory processing, and tinnitus/sound sensitivity therapy. She is dedicated to providing top-notch hearing care and helping her clients improve their language and communication abilities. Dr. Woolliams' expertise in literature and linguistics, combined with her passion for helping people improve their language and communication, make her an incredibly valuable asset in the field of audiology. Learn more about Dr. Woolliams.