PUBLISHED 27 JANUARY 2021
A new study in the US has shown the additional impact of the pandemic on those with a hearing loss.
Ninety-five percent of people living with hearing loss in the States say masks and facial coverings impact their ability to communicate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Covid-19 has also heightened levels of anxiety, social isolation and other mental health-related effects among nearly half of the nation’s hearing loss community.
The survey was carried out by the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and published on 26 January.
We’re sure its findings would be similar in the UK.
Two key findings:
- 70% of those with hearing loss say they are more aware of their hearing loss due to the pandemic
- 46% notice their hearing loss influencing other aspects of their mental health since the pandemic began
Pandemic and hearing loss
Tim Browning is the HLAA’s digital communication and web specialist, and a bilateral hearing aid user.
“With the prolonged pandemic,” Tim says, “I didn’t realise how the mental stress and fatigue over time would add to the challenge of understanding with masks. I’m missing the day-to-day practice of listening and talking to people in face-to-face situations. Online communications and captioning are wonderful, but to effectively hear requires continual practice of hearing in all situations. When we get out of practice, it becomes harder and harder to understand with masks.”
Barbara Kelley, executive director at the HLAA, says the impact the pandemic has had on people with hearing loss is enormous.
“I hope coming out of this pandemic,” she says, “we’ll see people continue to take their hearing loss seriously and treat it appropriately.”
Hearing is VITAL to our wider health and wellbeing. It’s our connection to our friends and family, to the world around us.
We’re here to help during the pandemic. Call us on 01159 618351 for advice and a friendly chat.
As an essential service, our practices in Nottingham and Grantham are OPEN during the winter lockdown. And we’ll be open for you throughout the pandemic, with strict measures in place to keep you safe.