Now that we’ve been living with COVID for almost two years, we’re receiving more information based on new research regarding its effects on hearing and other aspects of our health.
Since we’ve been spending more time isolated in our homes, any changes in hearing have become more noticeable for most people we’ve seen here in our clinic. Minor changes can make a big difference, and we are happy that most people get the help they need.
As we all know, COVID has affected many aspects of our life, not just medical aspects. We want to make sure our community has all the information available they need to continue living a healthy life.
I recently went on air with Bruce Elliot to discuss the effects of COVID-19 on hearing health – and here’s a summary of all the things we discussed during our interview.
Does COVID Affect Hearing?
We have had many reports of COVID affecting people’s hearing. This has happened in different forms.
Some are experiencing a hearing loss after severe exposure to the virus, while some have developed cases of tinnitus. This condition causes people to hear a noise in their ears. It can be anything from a low hissing to louder ringing that only the patient can hear.
In most cases, people already had this condition and did not notice it. Now that they have been in quiet environments so much over the past 18 months, the situation has worsened to the point that it’s all they can hear.
As we get back to normal, this condition can possibly fix itself. If you don’t see any improvement, then please come see us so we can give you a professional evaluation. Documenting your issues is the best way to predict how your hearing loss will progress in the future.
How Do We Treat Tinnitus?
For anyone reading this that may have tinnitus, it’s not the end of the world. It can go away on its own, but even if it doesn’t, we have treatments readily available to help you.
This is the best way to treat tinnitus, as most hearing aids come with many options to customize them. After your hearing test, we will know exactly what is needed to improve your hearing.
We can match you with the best hearing aid that addresses your problems specifically. Even if your hearing changes in the future, hearing aids these days can be modified.
Hearing aids also have the advantage of helping you hear better overall, not just to treat tinnitus.
They are programmed to eliminate background noise so you can hear more clearly. You won’t have to ask people to repeat themselves ever again.
When Is The Best Time To Get Hearing Aids?
We can help you determine the best time to get hearing aids. It will depend on the information we obtain from your hearing assessments. In short, the best time to get hearing aids is as soon as a problem exists.
The sooner we deal with it, the healthier your remaining hearing will be. Your brain will also remain healthy and active.
Hearing aids have come a long way since the days that your parents or grandparents had them. Even though the world seemed to stand still for a few months, the research and development of these devices did not.
They are more advanced than ever and come with even more features than before the pandemic. Rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth connectivity are just the start of what these modern marvels of technology can do.
Can I Still Wear Hearing Aids With A Mask?
We have been helping our patients deal with this problem since day one of the pandemic. Most masks are held up by being looped behind the ears. This is also where many hearing aids reside as well.
It was quite common for patients to drop or even lose their hearing aids without noticing. This happened by knocking them loose as they removed their mask.
We have found a great way to prevent that from happening.
There is a unique neck strap that we are looking at bringing into our offices. It sits on the back of your neck and has holes to which you can tie your mask. Now your mask uses your neck for a secure fit instead of your ears.
Do Masks Make It Harder To Hear?
You’re definitely not alone if you struggle to hear while wearing a mask.
Masks have presented a challenge to many aspects of our lives, and your listening capabilities are no different.
The first and most apparent obstacle is the sound being physically blocked by the mask itself. This can mute or muffle sound to make it hard to hear for anyone despite their hearing abilities.
Masks have also pointed out how much we rely on lip reading to understand people. Even if your hearing is in great shape, you still use lip reading to gauge meaning and pick up on other nuances.
Facial cues are also a big part of communicating. A small smile or twitch of the nose is sometimes all we need to understand someone, especially close ones.
Taking this away can bring to light how severe someone’s hearing may be. Unfortunately, it took a pandemic to reveal this, but we are happy that people are taking action to protect their hearing and even work to improve it.
Noticed Changes With Your Hearing?
If you are concerned about your hearing right now, please come and see us at your earliest convenience.
We will perform a comprehensive hearing assessment to give us all the information we need to plan for your future hearing.
If you have any questions beforehand or about the assessment, you can call us anytime. We are always standing by to help local people hear the life they love in and around Maryland.
Waiting is not the answer, and in this case, silence is NOT golden.