10 Top Tips for wearing a face mask with your hearing aids

Losing your hearing aid because it’s been dislodged by wearing a face mask, unfortunately, is becoming a much more common event for our patients. So we’ve prepared 10 handy tips to help you:

  1. If you have long hair, tie it back so it doesn’t get tangled in your face mask and hearing aid, or get in the way.
  2. Remove your glasses if you wear them, before putting your mask on. And when you remove your glasses, take them upwards instead of forwards and do it whilst standing still in case you dislodge your aids.
  3. Put your hearing aid on before your face mask so that any loops on your mask go over the outside of your aids, helping to hold them against your head.
  4. Choose the right mask. Wearing a mask that ties around your head, rather than one with elastic around your ears, reduces the risk of losing your aid, reduces strain on your ears and keeps your mask tight across your face.
  5. If you have face masks that loop behind your ears, wear a face mask extender. This keeps the mask straps away from your ears. You can pick them up cheaply online or easily make your own by sewing two buttons to a piece of ribbon or fabric to wear on the back of your head, and then simply attach your mask’s elastic to the buttons.
  6. If you use a disposable face mask, make sure your hearing aid isn’t tangled up with it before you throw it away, and if you use a washable one, check for the same before you put it in the wash.
  7. When you take your mask off, do it in a secure area whilst standing or sitting still, for example in your car, at home or in a quiet corner outside a building so you can check the floor if it falls out. Shield yourself from wind or rain before removing your mask and take your time – don’t rush!
  8. Keep your hands free for the task of putting on and taking off your face mask. Don’t try and do it whilst also on the phone or packing your shopping into the car! Remove one side of the mask at a time and do it carefully rather than pulling it off, holding on to each hearing aid in turn as you do it.
  9. Frequently check your hearing aids are still in place when putting your mask on, whilst wearing it and when removing it. If you do find you’ve dislodged a hearing aid, you can then check your location before leaving.
  10. If you do lose your hearing aid, don’t panic! If your hearing aids are compatible with your smart phone, you may be able to use your app to detect your lost hearing aid. The app usually indicates the last time your hearing aid and your phone were connected.

Insure your hearing aids

Whilst all these tips will help reduce the risk of losing your hearing aid whilst wearing glasses and a face mask, today’s technologically advanced hearing aids are too valuable to risk being lost, misplaced or accidentally damaged. So it’s advisable to make sure they are insured. Some people are able to get their hearing aids covered under their household insurance, but these ordinary policies do not generally give you the level of cover needed and you have the added concern of possibly losing any no claims discount you’ve earnt if you do need to make a claim. Ask your local Audiologist about specialised hearing aid insurance.

Custom hearing aids will help

Ultimately, custom hearing aids which sit in the ear (ITE), not behind it, or in the ear canal (ICC) are ideal for face mask wearing because they don’t get in the way of face masks. These custom hearing aids are often also rechargeable and some have edge mode and mask mode. Edge mode is an on-demand feature that use artificial intelligence to optimise speech audibility to offset communication challenges presented by face masks, social distancing and background noise. Mask mode is a custom memory that boosts the frequency response to help patients better hear people who are wearing face masks. If you think moving to a custom hearing aid would help you, your local Audiologist will be happy to explain your options.

if ages 50+