Coronavirus helping doctors catch hearing loss earlier

Masks are causing more people to get their hearing checked.
Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 6:25 AM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Between wearing a mask and social distancing, communicating has been a little harder for all of us, but for those with hearing loss, it’s even more so.

Audiologists across the country have noticed more people coming in to get their hearing checked. They explain that, for all of us, hearing and understanding is about more than just sounds. We also receive visual cues from facial expressions, body language, and lip reading.

Now that our faces are covered and we’re standing farther apart, some people are realizing just how much they rely on those cues.

“With those mild losses, they can get through it with visual cues previously, but without visual cues and the masks attenuating on our listening sounds as well, we’re uncovering these losses earlier, which is great,” says Dr. Julie Yeater, audiologist for Promedica Toledo Hospital.

The doctor says that hearing loss typically comes on gradually, so it’s hard to catch early, but that is key to long-term treatment.

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