Healthcare measures introduced to curb the spread of Covid-19 adversely affected the hearing-impaired, a study has found.
The study was published in Trends in Hearing< The /em> journal noted that the restrictions, including mask-wearing and social distancing, “caused a profound change in communication patterns in daily life”.
It conducted a surveyHearing difficulties in four communication scenarios that are common during the pandemic, particularly when speaking: with someone wearing a face mask, following social/physical distancing guidelines, by phone and by video call.
“Results from 94 respondents showed that people felt that their personal listening experiences in some common everyday scenarios were improved by the introduction of mask wearing and physical distancing were significantly worsened.”< /p>
It turned out to be particularly difficult for those who have lip-reading or hearing problems.
“Participants reported a range of hearing difficulties, including reduced speech intelligibility and increased listening effort, which led many people to actively avoid certain communication scenarios, at least at times.
“Participants also found listening tiring during long-distance communication, which became more common after the outbreak of the pandemic.”
It emphasized the importance of visual cues, including lip reading and live speech-to-text transcriptions, to improve communication during the pandemic.
Audiologist at the University Jamie Guinan of the Pennsylvania Health System highlighted these and other difficulties and urged those struggling during the pandemic to get a hearing test.
She said it’s important to be patient with those who are struggling to hear and communicate effectively during the pandemic.
“Family members whose If loved ones have had communication problems or hearing loss, I encourage you to be patient with loved ones.
“Make sure d As well as speaking clearly and trying to understand what your loved one is saying, you are doing your best to make the best of the situation you are in. Reduce background noise as much as possible and give the person your attention.”
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