Monthly Archives: August 2020

5 Tips for Wearing Your Hearing Aids with a Face Mask

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC recommends wearing face masks in public to prevent the spread of the virus. For individuals who wear behind-the-ear hearing aids, the use of a face mask with elastic worn around the ears can cause irritation on the ear, as well as an increased risk of losing the hearing aid. Adults or children may forg​et they are wearing hearing aids. Then, when a face mask is removed, it can cause the hearing aids to come off or be lost.

Here are five solutions that may help prevent problems when wearing hearing aids and face masks:

  1. Pull back any long hair into a bun or with an elastic tie.
  2. Rather than looping the elastic of the mask on the ears, utilize a mask extender. This can be home made (with ribbon and buttons) which can be made or bought offline.
  3. Obtain a mask that has four strings and ties behind the head rather than worn with elastic on the ears.
  4. Check that the hearing aid is still in plac​e during and following removal of the mask.
  5. Remove your mask at home in an open area. This is so that if the hearing aids fall to the ground, they can be found more easily.

If your hearing aid is compatible with a smart phone, you may be able to use a phone app to help detect a lost hearing aid. In gener​al, the app indicates the last time the hearing aid and phone ​were connected. If you have lost or broken your hearing aid, contact the Hearing Center at 904-399-0350 to find out if you are eligible for a replacement device.

Advancements in Bone-Anchored Hearing Technology

A bone-anchored hearing device (BAHD), also known as a bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA), is made up of a surgically placed implant and a removable external processor. These devices are unique in that they send signals to your inner ear via vibrations. These vibrations are interpreted by your inner ear the same as any other sound signal. Patients with middle ear issues (chronic ear infections, previous surgeries, etc.) are often successful users of a BAHD because it bypasses the middle ear and directly stimulates the inner ear. The device is also beneficial for those with single-sided deafness. The BAHD is placed on the side of the head with the severe-to-profound hearing loss and the signal is sent to the better hearing ear.

One of the manufacturers of these devices, Cochlear Americas, has recently released a new bone-anchored hearing solution. The Cochlear Osia System utilizes a lightweight external processor and an osseointegrated implanted. The external speech processor is worn on the head via a magnetic connection with the implant under the skin.

The external Osia speech processor and Osia implant from Cochlear Americas.

To learn more about the Osia system and if it may be a good option for you, visit https://www.cochlear.com/us/en/home/products-and-accessories/cochlear-osia-system/osia-2 or schedule an appointment at Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute at 904-399-0350.