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Face masks for hearing aid users

face mask for hearing aid users
It’s no secret that some face masks aren’t very hearing aid friendly. Standard ear loop elastics interfere with the placement of behind-the-ear hearing technology. Clear masks on others provide access to lip reading, but don’t necessarily fit comfortably when worn by a hearing aid user. No one should have to choose between COVID protection and hearing technology.

Here’s a round up of five face masks for hearing aid users with their Etsy titles.

Best mask for hearing aids

one size fits all
The best mask for hearing aid users

One size fits all are 100 percent cotton masks that have two adjustable elastic bands that wrap completely around the head instead of on the ears. Once the mask is around your head, you can adjust it using stoppers and a safety bead. The masks are available in double or triple layer fabric and contain a filter pocket compatible with any size filter (not included). Three pleats and a six-inch nose wire offer breathing room while still fitting securely. The stitching is reinforced.

“They are the best option for hearing aids,” the manufacturer says. “You can put the masks on without worrying about knocking the hearing aids out due to the long elastic.”

Behind the head elastic

Hearing aid-friendly face mask
Instead of pleats, this hearing-aid friendly mask offers a contoured design. The elastics wrap completely around the head.

“There are two bands of elastic that secure the mask to your head, and you have to kind of crawl into the mask,” the manufacturer says.

The masks are made with three layers of woven fabric and contain a built-in filter pocket. This mask does not have a nose wire. It fits heads up to approximately 22 inches.

Hearing aid friendly face mask

Hearing aid friendly face mask with adjustable toggle
This polycotton face mask can be ordered with or without a filter pocket. Instead of two separate around-the-head elastics, it offers one double-laced soft cord with a toggle.

“The mandatory face mask mandate can be a pain for persons who wear hearing devices and the elastic can get caught and tangled in hearing aids, causing them to fall out,” the manufacturer says. “These masks eliminate the issue as they fasten behind the head on a toggle and soft cord, which passes above and below the ears.”

“The mandatory face mask mandate can be a pain for persons who wear hearing devices…”

Behind-the-neck face mask 

Behind-the-neck face mask

This mask is unique from the others because instead of wrapping behind the head, it wraps behind the neck. It has two non-adjustable elastics that wrap around the back of your neck below your ears. The masks are handmade in the U.K. and available in child sizes upon request.

“These masks are great for people who wear glasses or behind the ear hearing aids,” the manufacturer said.

Ear Savers face mask
Ear savers

Ear Savers allows people with hearing loss to convert their traditional masks to a hearing aid-friendly design. Known as “ear savers” or “mask extenders,” these accessories clip onto ear loop elastics to convert them to an around-the-head design. They’re popular among health care professionals because they prevent chafing and discomfort. These ear savers fit at the base of the head/neck area and stretch the elastic away from the ears.

Read more: “I Read Lips:” Face masks for the deaf and hard of hearing

Bonus Tip: Face mask sticker for people with hearing loss

Hearing loss is an invisible disability, but there’s an easy, visible way to let others know that you’re deaf or hard of hearing: a mask sticker!

A simple sticker clearly conveys to hearing people that you have a hearing loss. There’s no need to point to your ear or shake your head. Just stick this to your mask to let folks know that you may not be able to hear them. This simple and inexpensive sticker may help reduce communication struggles during the pandemic.

Author Details
Morgan Snook is a writer from the Pennsylvania Wilds region. She enjoys being outdoors with her husband and two beautiful daughters. Her youngest daughter has mild-to-moderately severe bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, probably genetic. She wears Phonak Sky hearing aids, which she got at three months old.