Clear-view mask trial aims to help those with hearing loss
‘The natural instinct is to lower the mask’
Hear P.E.I. is sponsoring a study it hopes will help people understand what their health-care providers are saying better.
The group is providing disposable clear-window face masks to any health professional who would like to try them.
While mask-wearing is a necessity to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, it has created a problem for people who rely on lip-reading and other facial cues to understand others.
"More and more people are finding it difficult to comprehend what is being said when people are behind a Plexiglas barrier and behind a mask that covers their face," Hear P.E.I. co-president Daria Valkenburg told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier.
"If you're a doctor or a nurse and you have a patient and that patient says I can't hear you, I can't understand what you're saying, the natural instinct is to lower the mask so you can communicate. That kind of defeats the purpose of wearing the mask."
The problem is not just for people with hearing loss, said Valkenburg. The group is also hearing that people whose first language is not English or French can also struggle to understand when faces are covered.
The clear-window masks provide a view for people and makes comprehension easier, said Valkenburg.
Hear P.E.I. is collecting feedback from both health professionals and patients about the masks.
Interested health-care providers can contact Hear P.E.I. to receive a trial supply of the masks.
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With files from Island Morning