Face masks and hearing loss, tips for supporting the hearing impaired

text, whiteboard: Fairbanks Hearing & Balance Center sign

© Provided by Fairbanks KTVF
Fairbanks Hearing & Balance Center sign

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -The COVID-19 pandemic has had a variety of impacts on the community, and has affected many in different ways. Dr. Mariana McIlwain, audiologist with the Fairbanks Hearing and Balance talks about how the hearing impaired community has been affected by the pandemic.

“The year 2020 has been a very difficult year for all of us. One thing that has been particularly challenging is the way we communicate and interact with others. It’s just an eye opening experience to realize just how much we use our face to communicate,” said McIlwain.

Lip reading and facial recognition are important components of human interaction, especially for those who have underlying hearing loss. For them these visual cues can be essential to understanding and participating in everyday environments. McIlwain told us, “With the measures to decrease the spread of COVID-19

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