So now three categories to test new hearing aids?

One - quiet environment
Two - Noisy environment
Three - mask environment

Bottom line if you’re hard of hearing on really any level (more so mid range to severe) listening to someone talking wearing a mask is a train wreck. Not only do you have the distance factor, but a lot of words coming from someone wearing a mask many times sound mumbled. Not so much to normal hearing folks, but certainly to the hearing impaired.

So you go to all the trouble and cost to find the best HA possible to communicate with others, and then find your new hearing aids really don’t work well with with people wearing masks. Who knows maybe sign language comes back in 2021 and beyond if no FDA approved vaccine is found?

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Went to the doctor today with my wife. Everyone in the clinic were wearing masks.
I had a really tuff time understanding anyone. The women were impossible and the male doctor I got maybe 40%. Sure got me to thinking more about a CI.Thankfully my wife was there to help.

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This has happened to me all day today. I went to a department store that was open for the first time and the customer service lady had a mask on. I told her I cannot understand you. So she lowered her mask to speak with me. Then my front desk at my building had a mask on again and I told her the same thing. So she lowered it to talk with me. Then this evening we had a Tornado warning so a few of us went down into the basement garage. Same thing they had to remove their mask if they wanted to say anything to me.

These people are not sick nor neither am I. What do we do? Claim discrimination? As you are all aware this is getting very tiresome. Can you believe, there were people down at the ocean on the beach wearing a mask. Sun and salty sea air, what could be better to ward off illness. Nothing!

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One thing I’ve noticed at work, normal hearing people are having trouble hearing each other.

But I’d rather have everyone raising their voices to hear each other than being dead.

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I now realize that I am (was?) a partial lip reader. The only way I found out is because if masks…

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This totally sums it up for me.
I got into it with a lady at the DMV, I was telling her I could not understand a word she was saying, she was wearing a mask, behind Plexiglas, and hanging clear plastic. I was trying to make her understand that I could not understand her. She got mad, and told me to leave, I called 911 and asked for the local chief of police, and we talked over the phone right there in front of her because I refused to leave. The chief called her number and her face really turned red. She took off her mask and I was able to register my vehicle. I am to the point I will no longer take the crap from anyone.

https://www.insidernj.com/we-now-know-what-it-feels-like-to-have-hearing-loss/?fbclid=IwAR3JYJZohMI5q_IFZdjeTKIhk7deac_a1QKTLDnn_xQ8wUfawF3cOABbY-Y

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Saw the ENT yesterday, first thing was the hearing test… part of it was trying to understand words with the audiologist’s mask on… very poor. Hardly got any right. Then she took the mask off for some words with me lipreading… much better! Later the ENT told me that no matter how expensive or fancy the hearing aid, it would not work for me for word recognition… CI is in my future! He would prefer for both sides… if the insurance allows. Oh and he did take off his mask while talking to me. On with the testing… he thinks I will easily pass all the tests. I realize I’m looking at months going through the process. So thankful for this site. Gayle

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I just had a tooth removed by an oral surgeon which was a two day process. Initial visit and then tooth removed the second day. I pretty much told everyone at dental clinic (during both visits) I would not be able to understand what was being said, through mask usage. Over the two visits I think only one person (not the dentist) removed their mask to speak to me.

Regarding cvkemp situation with DMV, if someone can’t hear properly through mask usage, the individual asking the questions should then pull out a piece of paper and pen and write down the question or answer. I don’t see how asking someone to write down a short message, is intrusive or demanding at all. In fact its makes life easy for both parties and only takes a few seconds to accomplish. DMV personnel always seem like robots who never stray from the standard procedure.

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I doubt anyone using a CI is going to hear any better than some one with a severe hearing loss wearing a power hearing, when communicating with the “masked” world. People with CI still some what lip read and can’t hear well in loud background noise. Throw a mask over someone’s face and a CI wearer will still struggle to understand what is being said…

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Hopefully by the time I have the CI, if it all works out, we won’t be wearing masks anymore!

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From reading this forum I would have to disagree with you. Granted, not everyone getting a CI has had great results but it sure seems most are doing way better than before getting the CI. Just guessing I would think a person would need something in the 90%+ word recognition to be able to deal with the mask situation we all are dealing with now.

The 3 category test for new aids sure has brought members out to comment on how the masks are working out for the HOH. I know it is tuff for me. I would suspect anyone with moderately severe hearing loss is having a difficult time understanding speech when talking to people with masks on.

It’s a good thread.

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Actually, asking them to write out what they said is an excellent idea. I did that the other day at the Safeway pharmacy after some moments of real hassle understanding what was said. Worked great!

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I’m considering using my iPhone. It can transcribe if you cannot understand. So then the difficulty lies with the person speaking with you. They must speak clearly enough that the iPhone can understand.

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@hold4triple I’m a CI bimodal hearing system recipient. My WRS went from 28% to 80% in my CI ear at 3 months. I wasn’t hearing impaired sufficiently enough to require HA’s until about 10 yrs ago. I don’t lip read at all. I hear extremely well in noisy situations mostly. Put me in a small room which has poor acoustics and I don’t hear well.

I was tested pre CI with and without HA’s my aids were useless, I kept having to get people to repeat themselves constantly. I couldn’t answer the phone, my husband had to do it all the time. Why, even with a compilot I couldn’t comprehend what the other person was saying. Put me in a noisy room I used to sit in the corner reading.

My CI has changed my life totally, I feel confident to do all of the above and not worry about not being able to understand people. Even with people wearing masks, sure I have to concentrate more but I still understand them. Please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not criticizing your comments. All I’m doing is explaining what life for me now as a bimodal N7 CI recipient is like. I’m just so glad I went ahead and had this CI operation.

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Hearing aids don’t necessarily work well when communicating with someone talking with a mask on. Same thing for a CI, since a mask interferes with clear verbal communication. I’m all for CI’s and my initial post just mentioned the difficulty people have that wear HA’s and use a CI in today’s world of “mask” display. Its time people looked at the big picture and realize that masks do save lives but they also make speech understanding very, very difficult for the “hard of hearing”. Case in point read the following:

The N95 and FFP3 respirator masks for frontline health and care workers [can filter 95% of tiny particles], but they are much more likely to distort and reduce the level of speech. This makes communication particularly difficult at a time of heightened anxiety and when the content of conversations is novel and unpredictable. Imagine the apprehension of being greeted by someone in full PPE wearing a fitted mask and muffled speech competing with the hiss of oxygen from a breathing mask or nasal cannula.

As my initial post stated if we get a successful vaccine late this year or more likely mid-2021, people with a hearing loss will breath a sigh of relief. If on the other hand "mask wearing’ turns into a long term thing - people with HA’s and CI will suffer.

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Don’t shoot the messenger. My discussion topic was not comparing CI to HA’s and how each works in “normal” times. These are not normal times.

Case in point - human brains are designed to use visual cues like watching one another’s lips move, to help understand speech. Wearing a mask eliminates this vital visual information.

Acoustically, face masks muffle speech. Donning a mask over a hearing aid or cochlear implant can be problematic or uncomfortable—causing some to remove their hearing devices.

The need to stay at least six feet apart for can also make hearing and understanding speech more difficult. As distance increases, sound levels decrease. Research shows that moving farther away makes it more challenging for someone with hearing loss.

People with hidden or undiagnosed hearing loss may now be revealed, as their coping strategies falter. In this new reality, those who are hard-of-hearing and deaf may be unable to access public health recommendations, learn about available services or make informed decisions about their own care when speech is only auditory. This is especially true for people in hospitals, nursing homes or quarantine, who may find themselves suddenly isolated without assistance from family or friends.

So let’s keep the discussion on HA, CI and other assisted listening devices and how they interact with people talking with masks on. Thanks

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“New reality”… If face masks and social distancing are not very short term issues, we have much bigger problems than our ability to hear, not the least of which is the erosion of our freedoms to tyranny.

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The move to captions for meetings and on telephones helps - perhaps communication will move more to automated speech to text options. As mentioned above some of us with hearing loss are using phone apps such as Otter and Google Live Transcribe. Even if somewhat garbled by the mask, these apps can help get us some additional information as does pen and paper.

BTW, Zoom has auto captions in beta testing (I think using Otter).

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Ooohhh this sounds great, thanks for sharing!

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Whew!!! Man that’s rough!

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