Face Masks for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing Pose New Challenge

A CNN article from someone who uses lip reading to assist her hearing.


Weird, it pulled an image from a related article on the page.

Speaking of challenges, making a mask with a transparent lip-reading window as seems to be suggested would be a REAL challenge but at least no one could cough through that!

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Well considering what the alternative might be I don’t see this as a major issue. Most hard of hearing or deaf will adapt and deal with it.

This isn’t a new idea (surgical type mask with a clear plastic window for lip reading). I’ve had email blasts before from someone who sells them. At the time it wasn’t more than a curiosity. I hope they are still in business and doing well now.

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What scares me is that I cannot have anything over my nose, and mouth at the same time, I have decked a few people in the past that have tried to force a gasmask or face mask on me. And I am also claustrophobic.


How do you put on a mask that loops over each ear with hearing aids?

Putting it on wasn’t too hard. The trick is getting it off without taking the HAs along for the ride.


if I could wear the mask it would be no issue for me, I wear ITE hearing aids.

There was probably somewhat of a market from people with allergies even before the virus

I had no trouble. Today I went grocery shopping, not been in 12 days. Things sure have changed! I used a bandanna, folded it over 4 times, elastics over the ears, you’ve likely seen the vids on how to do it. I have the KS9s, wasn’t a problem. I wouldn’t want to wear it long term though, my ears were sore! Couldn’t wait to take it off back in the car.

An acquaintance of mine of Facebook posted a joking selfie of himself and his wife wearing bandanas and looking like members of Jesse James’ gang. They had been wintering in Florida and were now returning to Delaware. He joked that they planned to rob a bank with their bandanas on the way home!

Perhaps that could be an inducement to get folks to follow the now official CDC recommendation to wear a face mask in public. If you’re alarmed by facial recognition software, you’ll be less likely to have your whereabouts identified in public by wearing a face mask.

The NY Times had a series of Letters to the Editor on how to wear a face mask. One woman wrote in that every woman has the capacity to make her own at home by cutting a bra in half!

I admit, I was thinking about the Westerns from the 1950’s and 1960’s with my bandanna on! LOL

You have to get creative for masks. I’ve seen half a coconut shell, half an orange peel, and so many other weird things.

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I’m not certain, but it seems that a modified bra cup might work.

I’ve experienced challenges for so long since face masks became the norm for a dentist even just walking into the room, or the hygienist. However, they are willing, happy even to take the time when discussing something to pull their mask down. I also have trouble with visits to opthomologists. I’m always repeating a reminder I can’t hear with something blocking my vision. Usually they try to remember. Dealing with X-ray techs is a whole different situation. All too often I’ve ended up with one either in training or experiencing memory issues. They just don’t seem to get it when I tell them I have to see them to “hear” them. Most of us will need a very large sign hanging around our necks indicating we can not hear instructions should we land in ICU during COVID-19. No family. No interpreter. Staff exhausted, working at breakneck speed.
I like to think this need to always wear a mask when around others is not permanent but perhaps a matter of months. Could go on much longer. I’m more comfortable with everyone wearing masks, dealing with communication issues than the thought of being dead.


As this goes on I don’t think too many people are going to give a damn that you have to see them to hear them.

I guess those that are at crucial checkpoints could keep a little whiteboard or clipboard with a good supply of paper and writing tools and those that are lip readers could hang a sign around their neck. When the checkpoint person reads, “I need to read lips” on a sign, he/she could write in large letters and abbreviated text, “This way, please —>>>” or “Plz wait few min for further info…” Guess the sign-writing advisor will have a further problem if the lip reader is also dyslexic. Not to be dissing handicapped people (which each of us are in our own way) but I was wondering how far a person like Gavin Newsome, gov. of CA, could go. Would we want a dyslexic U.S. president who might have trouble reading written reports and studying facts and figures during a time of crisis? Not to create controversy but just considering, just like the issue of face masks getting in the way of lip reading, how everyone can play as a team in a crisis and make the best allowances for handicaps. Hope we are not so “sanitized” in thinking on this forum that it’s shocking and rude to say that I’ve wondered about such things.

Face masks and N95’s on virtually every person I work with (I work in a hospital in one of the nation’s hotspots) have definitely made communicating more challenging. Despite that, my Marvels are really shining — and so is Roger. Grateful for this forum in helping me get to this point so I can perform my best in this unprecedented time. Be safe, everyone.


Kind of an update. I’ve found that a mask with bands at top and bottom are less likely to catch on my HAs or glasses than the ear loop style.

Yeah I had to go into the office for a series of meetings yesterday and while I had no mask everyone else did (apparently I am the only person whose partner isn’t a nurse or seamstress). It made it pretty challenging. I ended up cranking up my aids for the first time since getting them adjusted the last time back in mid March. It helped, but wasn’t perfect. Sound location proved problematic. The bandana guys I couldn’t even tell when they were talking since they wore them desperado style vice CDC folded and thus they didn’t move.