Covid 19 face masks make it hard to hear

Hearing Loss and face Masks are a difficult combination.

The mask physically blocks the speech sounds.

According to a medical study highlighted in Hearing Review, medical masks act as a low-pass acoustic filter for speech, weakening the high frequencies spoken by the wearer by up to 12 dB depending on the type of mask. The study concludes, “The speech quality degradation, in combination with room noise/reverberation and the absence of visual cues, renders speech close to unintelligible for many patients with hearing loss.”

Lipreading cues are absent.

Like many people with hearing loss, I am usually speechreading while I listen. The lipreading cues help me better understand speech, while the facial expressions help me to find the emotion behind the words. With a mask, neither of these clues are available making it more taxing to organize the sounds into a meaningful word or phrase. This can lead to hearing loss exhaustion from the increased listening effort.

The 6-feet apart rule compounds the issue.

Along with wearing masks, people have been asked to physically distance from one another by staying home as much as possible and by maintaining a six foot distance from others when in public spaces. This rules helps reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus from one person to another, but it also makes it more difficult to hear since most hearing devices work best when they are within six feet of the source of the sound.

Tips For Communicating With People Wearing Masks

When you talk to someone with a face mask most people have difficulty understanding each other. Now, add a hearing loss and it may become impossible to understand.

With a hearing loss, understanding speech does not come naturally. It takes effort. The clues we get from lip movements and facial expressions are almost as important as the sounds that are amplified by our hearing Aids. We must look as well as listen in order to fully understand. Masks, while necessary and important for public health, make this process much more challenging.

Supplement with speech-to-text apps

If you have a speech-to-text apps like Live Transcribe (Android only) You can hold your phone as close to the person as possible while maintaining physical distance. The closer the microphone is to the person speaking, the better chance it will have to pick up the sound. Practice at home so you are not fumbling with the app in real time.

Use paper and pen if necessary

You can use them to prepare signs in advance with your name and what you need to say. For example, if you are picking something up at the pharmacy, include your name, what you are picking up, and that you have trouble hearing so they know to communicate with you carefully.

You can also use your phone as a notepad

deafness cured in new experiment

A new form of genetic editing cured deafness in a new successful trial…

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. A team of researchers has used a technique called base editing to cure deafness in mice.

The Broad Institute previously was instrumental in developing CRISPR genetic editing technology. CRISPR corrects genetic mutations by using an enzyme to cut out an unwanted genetic mutation and replacing it with healthy DNA.

Base Editing is different in that it doesn’t cut the DNA. Instead, it can “rewrite” the actual letters in the DNA sequence.

DNA is the building block of life. It is the hereditary material contained in every cell of our body.

All strands of DNA consist of a sugar, a phosphate group, and a base pair. The sugar and phosphate group are identical in every strand of a person’s DNA. They are the “backbone.” The base pair determines what genetic information is expressed.

In DNA, there are only four bases that make up a pair. They are adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T). Adenine always bonds with thymine to form a pair. And guanine always bonds with cytosine to form a pair.

The only naturally occurring base pairs in DNA are A-T and G-C. When we talk about “letters,” this is what we are talking about. Below is a visual:

DNA Base Pairs

Image
Source: How Stuff Works

Now, Genetic Mutations occur when one of these bases is transcribed incorrectly – that is, when the letters don’t match up properly.

Base editing technology corrects these mutations by “rewriting” the letters so that they match up correctly. In other words, base editing can change any single letter to any other.

When it comes to a certain kind of deafness in mice, the condition is caused by a single mutation. That makes it relatively easy to cure with base editing.

Using base editing, the team proved that the mice could hear sounds as quiet as 60 decibels, which is the level of a normal conversation. That’s not 100% hearing, but it is still a remarkable achievement. The mice could hear again.

This technique could easily be applied to humans. That’s the next step for the team at Broad.

Well, base editing is an exciting technology that’s on the rise. Base editing is now where CRISPR was six or seven years ago. It is not a matter of being better or worse than CRISPR. This is another tool to help cure all human disease.

We’re finding that with some genetic mutations, different enzymes work better than others. The same will likely be true about using base editing versus CRISPR depending on the situation.

We will see some exciting developments in base editing technology in the last half of this year. This is another powerful tool when it comes to eradicating all human disease.

Broad Institute

https://www.broadinstitute.orgBroadInstitute is a mission-driven community that brings together researchers in medicine, biology, chemistry, computation, engineering, and mathematics from across MIT, Harvard, and Harvard-affiliated hospitals, along with collaborators around the world

What do hearing aid ear molds cost ?

EARMOLDS COST AS LITTLE AS $2 EACH OR AS MUCH AS $200 EACH.

There are many different earmold styles, that are  used to conduct sound to the ear.

 Some of  the popular Audiologist/Laboratory earmolds are at the left in the above photo. They cost from $80 to $200 EACH, DEPENDING ON YOUR HEARING AID PROVIDER who sold and adjusted it.. 

These above, on the left, are made of Lucite, acrylic and Urethane hard plastic and these particular ones are made for BTE, Behind Ear Hearing aids. They require 7 to 18 days to be mailed and completed, after your ear impression is taken by your hearing aid provider.

The remaining earmolds above are DIY from HCPB Earmold Kits that are made from flexible Medical Grade Silicone rubber putty at a cost of $2 Each to $12 Each. They take only 10 minutes to make in your own home. You are in control for your satisfaction. They are available in 3 skin colors, Tan, Brown and Dark Brown. They work with ALL BRANDS and MODEL Hearing Aids and are shipped PRIORITY 2 to 3 day USPS FREE.

The 3 popular DIY Hearing Aid types are:

RIC, RIE
Receiver in Ear Canal
       
24 to 30 earmolds Kit-  lowest cost per earmold: $2 ea

4 RIC Earmolds Kit (lowest cost kit: $5 ea.

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.OPEN FIT Earmold kits  

24-30 earmolds Kit (lowest cost per mold $2 ea.

4 earmolds Kit   (Lowest cost kit $5 each

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BTE  (BEHIND THE EAR                          Are (supplied by the Hearing Aid  factory is a hard over ear hook)

 A Sound tube is required and is included in the below kits.

24 to 30 Earmold Kit you choose from 1,2,3,or 4 HCPB Tubes                        4 Earmold kit with 2 HCPB Tubes                                                                             4 Earmold Kit with 1 HCPB Tube,  $12 each

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NOTE:

There are also ALL IN THE EAR Hearing aids that can use the same  RIC Kits to improve the fit and seal, as well as EAR BUDS for music and Cell Phones.

Why hearing aids can cause itchy sore ears.

What can you do when the hearing Aid is making your ears itch?

Answer

There are many possible causes, that the medical books list.

The ear canal has very thin delicate skin; that even hair, ear wax, allergies bacteria, etc. may cause itching in the ear.  When you add a hearing aid, it can add other causes. I have been wearing hearing aids since 1956. Before I discus my experience, let us examine the usual factors.

Open Fitting hearing aids

The domes/tips for OPEN FITTINGS are made from medical grade silicone rubber. So allergic reaction is less likely than for a custom earmold made by a factory/Lab However, some people may be allergic to the cleaning agent used to clean the dome/tube tip.

One of the most common causes of itching for OPEN FITTING AIDS is poor fit of the dome in the ear canal. Whether it is a thin tube or receiver (speaker)-in-the-ear canal (RIC,RIE) style, we are dealing with non-customized fitting and limited (not perfect) tube/receiver lengths and dome sizes to select from. When people complain about itching/ irritation with an open fitting, see if the tube too short, pulling the skin of ear too tight, or is it too long, causing the hearing aid to “lie” above the ear canal? A too short tube will cause pressure on the skin; a too loose tube may cause the hearing aid to move easily and cause irritation when the head is moved, talking or chewing. Is the dome size right?

There is no perfect Dome size, because the ear canal is irregular, oval,and NOT ROUND like the Domes.. Trying to change the dome size or change to a different type of dome (open dome, tulip dome or closed dome) are the usual attempts to solve the problems.

If the physical fit is as good as can be achieved, but the person still complains about irritation, applying a bit of lubricant (such as Olive oil) on the dome may help. Finally, a customized earmold can also solve issues with itching, especially if the itching is caused by the dome not remaining in a fixed position in the ear canal, but keeps moving with smiling, chewing and talking.

Closed Dome/ earmolds

For closed fittings with custom earmolds/shells, itching or irritation can be due to poor fit, allergy to the plastic materials, moisture in the ear or a wax accumulation. Poor fit is also a common cause of itching. Allergy to earmold materials is less common than fit issues but it does happen, especially for earmolds made from Laboratory acrylic or epoxy resin. have been reported to cause contact dermatitis in the ear It can be helpful to keep hearing aids cleaned and put in a hearing aid dryer during the night.

Dry skin tends to peel or crack and is extremely sensitive to irritation; scratching will further damage the skin and make the itching worse. Alcohol should not be used to clean the ear if the skin is dry as this will make matters worse. A few drops of olive oil may help keep the ear from getting too dry and also protect it from water and bacteria. However, do not put much oil in the ear if the person wears RIC/RIE or custom in ear aids as this may cause damage to the receiver (speaker).

Summary

Itching due to wearing hearing aids is common, but it can be treated or eliminated. Make sure you get the best fit; keep both ears and hearing aids clean and dry; use lubricant or moisturizer if needed, switch to non-allergenic material (silicone rubber) if an allergic reaction occurs, and refer to an ENT or dermatologist if necessary. Using HCPB DIY Medical Grade silicone rubber earmolds solves these problems.

I spent the first 8 years of using hearing aids by using Custom Lab Lucite earmolds. I had issues with soreness, itching and poor hearing quality. Then I developed my HCPB medical grade silicone rubber earmolds. Thy solved all my problems and then offered them to my patients, in my hearing aid practice. Now they are available to anyone at this website at factory direct lowest price.

See more info about low cost DIY cusom earmolds at: https://earmolds.info/wp-admin/post.php?post=172&action=architect&tve=true