While our stores aren’t open as normal right now, we’re still here to help you when you need us. We’ve put together some answers to frequently asked questions about hearing care during COVID-19, as well as some useful tips.

What can I do to maintain my hearing at home during COVID-19?

You don’t need to do anything particularly special to protect your hearing at home during COVID-19 — just take sensible steps to look after your ears as you usually would. As we’d normally recommend, protecting your ears from prolonged exposure to loud noise and maintaining good ear health are your best bet.

Advice for hearing aid wearers

If you wear hearing aids, you’ll need to make sure you take care of them while you’re not able to get into store as easily and be extra mindful with cleaning to keep them in good condition. Here are some handy tips to remember:

  • Before you handle any parts of your hearing aids, make sure you thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water
  • Wipe your hearing aids down with a tissue or wet wipe before putting them in and after taking them out
  • Store your hearing aids in their case when not in use and make sure to wipe down the case every time you use it
  • To limit contact with any surfaces, pop your hearing aid onto a tissue when changing any batteries, domes or tubes
  • Any domes or earmoulds that are placed directly into your ear should be wiped down with a tissue or wet wipe

You can find more information on managing your ear health here.

How often should I clean my hearing aid?

Hearing aids require regular maintenance and we’d recommend that they should be cleaned every day to keep them in good working order while the government restrictions are in place.

You can find useful how to videos here that take you through how to clean different types of hearing aids. Make sure you follow the additional cleaning advice detailed above, too.

My hearing appointment has been cancelled. What should I do now?

During this time, we are only open for urgent and essential services. So unfortunately, we have had to cancel all routine hearing appointments. If you believe your appointment is either urgent or essential, or you’re a key worker, please contact your local store to discuss.

Otherwise, we will get in touch with you as soon as we are given the go-ahead to get back to our normal services. You might also want to call your store once the government restrictions have been lifted to arrange an appointment convenient for you.

What technology or resources are available for those who are hard of hearing?

If you have any concerns about your hearing health or you’re having trouble with communication during the lockdown, you can always get in touch with us for some advice.

  • Post a question on our Ask the experts Facebook group and one of our audiologists will get back to you
  • Get in touch with your local store for some advice (we can arrange a video, email or text conversation, or anything else suitable)   

A useful resource to keep an eye on if you’re struggling with hearing loss is the Chime.ie website, where you can find up to date information on hearing loss in general, as well as tips and advice during the COVID-19 outbreak.

You might find technology like the IRTS helpful to use when making phone calls.

Is working from home different for people with hearing loss?

If you have hearing loss, working from home can raise some different challenges. For example, when you work in an office environment, people with a hearing impairment tend to subconsciously rely on visual cues, like lip reading, to help them throughout their working day.

This isn’t available if you’re having to use the phone when working from home. A good tip is to use a headset to allow both ears to receive sound – this will help with clarity and understanding. Just be careful not to have the volume cranked up too loud as this can distort the sound and could also cause longer term damage to your hearing.

How can you make virtual meetings accessible to people with hearing loss?

If you’re having to attend a lot of virtual meetings during the lockdown, there are some things you can try if you’re finding it tricky with your hearing loss:

  • Wear headphones so you receive the sound in both ears, without interference from your surroundings (just don’t have the volume up too loud)
  • Ask that people switch on their cameras to help with visual cues and lip reading
  • Ask that whoever isn’t speaking during the call mute their microphones to avoid distortion that can detract from the speaker
  • If you use an app with a chat feature, use that to get any clarity on details or anything you think you missed
  • You might find it helpful to use speech to text software that creates a transcription of things said during a meeting

If you ever have any concerns about your hearing or your hearing aids, you can get in touch with us on our Facebook group, by calling your local store, or with our new RemoteCare service

For the latest updates on hearing care during coronavirus, visit our COVID-19 care resource.

Everything you need to know about Coronavirus

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