Typically, you don’t mind wearing a mask (or sometimes even two) when you leave your house. The only trouble is, sometimes it’s tough to hear what other people are saying. Voices are muffled and even distorted when you go to the doctor’s office or store. Sometimes, it’s so bad you can barely understand a single word. Naturally, they’re wearing masks, as well. Our face coverings aren’t really at fault, however. It might be your hearing that’s the problem. Or, to say it differently: those muffled voices you’re hearing during the pandemic could be exposing your hearing loss.
The Human Voice is Muffled by a Mask
Most quality masks are made to prevent the spread of airborne particles or water droplets. The majority of evidence indicates airborne water droplets as a contributing factor in the case of COVID-19 so that’s pretty useful (even though the science regarding the spread is still being done, so all results are in early stages). Curtailing and stopping COVID-19, as a result, has been shown to be very effective by wearing masks.
But masks obviously can block the projection of sound waves. Masks can block the human voice slightly. It’s not really a big concern for most individuals. But if you suffer from hearing loss and muffled voices suddenly surround you, it could be difficult for you to understand anything being said.
Hearing Loss Makes Your Brain Work Overtime
But your difficulty understanding people wearing masks most likely isn’t simply because voices are muffled. It’s more involved than that. The thing is, the brain is, to some extent, adept at compensating for variations in sound quality.
Even if you can’t hear what’s going on, your brain will put the event into context and use that information to interpret what’s being said. Body language, facial expressions, even lip movements are all synthesized by your brain naturally to help you compensate for what you can’t hear.
Many of these visual clues are hidden when somebody is wearing a mask. The position of somebody’s mouth and the motion of their lips is hidden. You can’t even see if it’s a smile or a frown behind the mask.
Your brain has a very hard time trying to interpret what’s being said without that added visual information. That means you’re more likely to hear nothing but mumbles. And your brain will get tired even if it is able to piece together what was said.
Under normal conditions, a constantly compensating brain can cause considerable mental exhaustion, often resulting in irritability or memory loss. Your brain will become even more exhausted when everyone is wearing a mask (but leave it on because it’s essential for community protection).
These concerns are being brought into focus and hearing loss is being revealed by the pandemic. Hearing loss typically develops slowly over time and might not have been recognized in other circumstances. When your hearing first starts to diminish, you might disregard the symptoms and turn up the volume on the television (you may not even detect this taking place).
That’s why it’s important to visit us on a regular basis. We can detect early hearing loss, often before you even notice it, because of the screenings we perform.
This is especially true for anyone currently having difficulty comprehending conversations through a mask. We can help you discover solutions to help you navigate a masked world. For example, hearing aids can help you recover a lot of your functional hearing range and can supply other significant benefits. Hearing aids will make it much easier to hear, and comprehend the voices behind the masks.
Keep Your Mask on
It’s essential to remember to keep your mask on even as the pandemic reveals hearing loss. Masks are frequently mandated or required because they save lives. One of the issues with muffled voices is that people may be tempted to take off their masks, and that’s the last thing we should do.
So leave your mask on, schedule an appointment with us, and use your hearing aids. Following these suggestions will keep you safe and improve your quality of life.