What is it about?

The preventive measures taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic (masks, plexiglass, remote work, etc.) have had profound impacts on the communication and quality of life of individuals with hearing loss. By directly consulting those affected, our research has uncovered the challenges faced by these individuals and identified potential solutions for the future.

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Why is it important?

We found that COVID-19 preventive measures have made communication harder for people with hearing loss, leading to increased anxiety, fatigue, and social isolation. Face masks are the most impactful preventive measure, particularly when combined with other measures (e.g., fixed plastic partitions, physical distance) and in noisy environments (e.g., at work, at grocery store). Masks with clear windows help people with hearing loss by allow them to read lips and see facial expressions, but they're not perfect since issues such as comfort, cost, and fogging limit their effectiveness and widespread use. To tackle these problems, it is important to spread awareness about hearing difficulties and share better ways to communicate, especially for videoconferencing.


I hope that this publication will raise awareness on the unique challenges individuals with hearing loss confront due to preventive measures and underscore the critical need for quality communication, especially during times crisis.

Loonan Chauvette
Universite Laval

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Perceptions of Adults With Hearing Loss About the Communication Difficulties Generated by the COVID-19 Preventive Measures: A Qualitative Study, Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, November 2023, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),
DOI: 10.1044/2023_jslhr-23-00163.
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