The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

COVID-19 era: Hearing handicaps behind face mask use in hearing aid users


Complejo Hospitalario Universitario Insular-Materno Infantil, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, İspanya

J Int Adv Otol 2022; 18: 465-470
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2022.21578
Read: 1282 Downloads: 490 Published: 01 November 2022

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess the effect on speech perception and lack of hearing devices gain with surgical masks worn in hearing aid users.
METHODS: This prospective cohort study enrolled consecutive patients between November 2020 and February 2021 in a tertiary care medical center from Spain. Fifty-five subjects have been included, 10 as control group, with normal hearing, and 45 patients with sensory-neural hearing loss and hearing aid users, ranging in age between 31 and 83 years old, and were recruited randomized in 4 months. Appropriate test was done previously to check adequate functioning from devices and suitable adaptation. Control group had no hearing impairment neither otologic disease.
RESULTS: Disyllabic test in quiet get worse with face mask with a significant difference and stronger impact in noisy background. Age made no difference. Adding lipreading speech perception improved by 95.1 % for younger subjects (<50 years of age) and 91.2% for older subjects (>50 years of age). In the control sample, there was no differences in any condition.
CONCLUSION: Despite advantages of wearing mask in preventing coronavirus disease 2019 spread, we must consider that they have also drawbacks for some groups like hearing aid users. In this research, we have not observed high frequencies perception decrease with surgical masks worn, but there was reduction in speech perception, most notably in hearing aids wearers in noisy environment.

Cite this article as: Benítez-Robaina S, Ramos-Macias Á, Borkoski-Barreiro S, Falcón-González JC, Salvatierra P, Ramos-De Miguel A. COVID-19 era: Hearing handicaps behind face mask use in hearing aid users. J Int Adv Otol. 2022;18(6):465-470.

EISSN 2148-3817