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

You have a good outlook on things. Hang in there. Make shift masks are better than nothing.

A Facebook post about a women taking her husband’s boxer briefs and putting them over her head was hilarious but effective. The only problem is my wife doesn’t wear boxer briefs, ain’t putting mine over my head!

I ordered masks off eBay a few days ago. They should be here tomorrow.

I saw a video of one improvised from a jockstrap! (Revenge of the nerds revisited? )

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I had my first in office medical experience with people wearing masks a couple days ago. It was definitely–challenging(?) Even more so because I was in my caregiver role. Attending the appointment with one of the individuals I serve added its own stress factor.

Today i went to pharmacy. They have the plexi glass thing and facial masks. Thats really hard. But i get it. So im not complaining. :slight_smile:

Aside from blocking visual cues (lipreading etc), masks also reduce high pitch sounds essential to conveying speech information.

The data show that each mask essentially serves as a low-pass filter, attenuating the high frequencies (2000-7000 Hz) spoken by the wearer, with the decibel (dB) level of attenuation ranging from 3 to 4 dB for a simple medical mask and close to 12 dB for the N95 masks.

Source: How Do Medical Masks Degrade Speech Reception? - Hearing Review

For those who are in communication settings where face masks are being worn regularly, consider asking your audiologist to create a face mask program on your hearing aids… the setting should try to accommodate for the frequencies that are filtered by the mask by adding extra amplification to those pitches.


Thanks for the information. I thought my trouble understanding people in masks was missing lip cues. It didn’t occur to me that high frequency speech was being filtered out. I’ll try adjusting my hearing aids.

Anyone have any ideas about obtaining clear face masks? Everything I tried came up empty.


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And my worse hearing loss is between 1500 and 3000 hz. For me even if I hear my wife talking I do not register she is talking to me until she some how gets my attention. Normally getting in my face so I see her talking.
I find myself now listening to see if she is talking to me when I am setting in the living room and she is in the kitchen behind me, but still a times it doesn’t register that she is talking to me because she is always talking to the dogs or on the phone.

Thank you! That’s helpful information. Masks cut down on facial expression in general; not just lip movement. Guess we could always have 'em write it down–or text it to us.


This only issue is that our Audis are not open and available. And for me the VA has not approved of remote adjustments.

I went the ER last week. Due to the corona virus, on first contact the nurses wear full PPE, masks, googles, face shield, full body covering. My event was middle of the night so no HAs. You want hard to hear? I’m so lucky my loss is mild compared to many, but I did explain I had hearing loss and many to repeat often.

We had my wife’s first prenatal visit last week on Tuesday and all three of us were masked up. I was able to get most of what the doc was saying; she was facing me and it was a pretty small room. My wife fed me what I missed. There was no background noise with the door closed which helped of course. I am finding that turning up my aids is helping so I am doing that more now depending on the situation. Seems my hearing may still be evolving.

Hardest for me is getting takeout; I miss a lot of what folks are saying. I just straight tell them, don’t have any other choice. So far everyone has been understanding (that I have encountered anyway).

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I have beem struggling. Its been very difficult for me too. We went to a clini and every one wears a mask. I told them and they were nice enough to remove mask :slight_smile: i also used my pen when my hands were free. It was a dr appt for my 4 yo :slight_smile:

My hearing aids help me a lot, but I never realized how much I depend on seeing people’s mouths. I checked out the Clearview Window mask. It would be great to use for me and people I am close to so I can see them talk. But, unfortunately, the Clearview is not available. Does anyone know of a similar product? --Steve

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It would be nice if someone posted a link of a (mask) with a connecting head band - preferably a stretch band. I’m not looking for the top of the line mask but also don’t want a cheap throw away. Be nice to find something in the $10 to $18 price range that will last and by that I mean the head band won’t break.

It’s a sad day when the wife and I get excited over a pakage of N95 mask I found today while looking for some paint brushes I had stored for the next time I needed them. They were still in the orginal unopened pkg. :joy: :rofl: hew haw.

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I bought some on Etsy that have ties long enough to go behind the head (they’re meant to be adjusted and trimmed for one’s particular ears but I didn’t trim just tied behind my head). There are tooooons on Etsy.

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Transparent masks help deaf communicate in Indonesia …


Do you really think the buying public is going to buy transparent masks, to help the deaf or those with severe to profound hearing loss. Come on. Though it would be nice if the medical profession went this direction but I doubt that will happen. Cost, limited selection and lack of interest will keep transparent masks on the drawing board.

Thanks Jim,
I can see families of the HOH buying these to help with communication. Even businesses with HOH in mind.
Thanks for sharing.

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We have some clear masks for clinical use, but the supply is limited and they aren’t technically FDA approved, so we reserve them for severe losses.

Cellphone live transcribe apps do a pretty good job these days close captioning people’s speech, even with a mask.