We’re now settling in for the winter, and even though COVID-19 is still with us, we’re adjusting to getting back to work and going to social events again.

This brings its own set of challenges because we’ve been used to being at home in relative quiet for a long time, and now we’re plunged back into places with a lot of background noise.

We might find that our hearing has changed, and that our hearing aids are no longer set correctly, or that we can’t tolerate background noise the way we could before.

Because of this, I’ve put together a short list of how to adjust to this next season.

1. Ensure Your Hearing Aids Are Correctly Programmed

You might not hear as well as you used to, and if so, you won’t hear as well in background noise either. Find out if this is the case with a hearing assessment.

We’ll then adjust your hearing aids to the right settings to suit your new hearing needs.

If your hearing aids aren’t programmed correctly, not only will you not be hearing at your best, you also won’t get stimulation to all areas of your inner ear, and the areas that don’t get stimulation can atrophy and eventually die.

A simple adjustment will prevent all this. It’ll make all the difference.

2. Adjusting Takes Time

It will take a while to get used to noise again after the peace of your home setting.

For meals out:

  • Try to go when the restaurant will have the least number of people present (early or weekdays).
  • Go to places that don’t have open spaces – where the bar, kitchen, and where people sit are in the same room.
  • Face the people you want to hear, and put your back to the people you don’t want to hear. The newer hearing aids will reduce the sound behind you by 50% or more.

If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your hearing aids to avail of this feature, come see our selection and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions about your unique hearing needs and give our recommendations.

Schedule Your Hearing Assessment

3. Take Care With Your Mask

Patients have lost 20% more hearing aids than usual due to putting on or taking off the mask, causing the hearing aids to fall off the ear unnoticed.

Most hearing aid manufacturers have a “Find My Hearing Aid App.” Apple has a “Find My iPhone App.” If you don’t know how to use it, contact our office and we’ll walk you through it.

Also, look into wearing a mask that ties behind the head rather than looping it around your ears, and tuck the mask loops outside the hearing aid rather than inside them.

4. Prevent Further Hearing Loss

Noise-induced hearing loss occurs with loud sounds, and it depends on the volume level of the noise, as well as how long you are in the loud noise.

“At least 10 million adults (6 percent) in the U.S. under age 70—and perhaps as many as 40 million adults (24 percent)—have features of their hearing test that suggest hearing loss in one or both ears from exposure to loud noise.” – NIH, “Noise-Induced Hearing Loss”

Keep the volume on your AirPods or other earbuds low so you don’t get a hearing loss. Also, if you’re at any event where the noise is loud, or you are wondering if it is loud enough to cause hearing loss, put in earplugs or leave as soon as possible.

When Was Your Last Check-Up?

Studies are showing that getting a COVID-19 infection can affect hearing and cause tinnitus and vertigo. We can help treat any of these symptoms.

Many times it may be a further loss of hearing causing the problem. If so, we will do a new hearing test and adjust the hearing aid for maximal performance based on the new hearing loss.

Make an appointment for a hearing assessment at one of our West Coast clinics so we can help you get your independence back.

We look forward to seeing you!


Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Lance Nelson, AuD, CCC-A

Dr. Lance Nelson graduated with his AuD from Purdue University in 2010. He worked at Spokane ENT Associates, Lafayette ENT Associates, and at the Lafayette Otolaryngology Associates. Dr. Nelson is experienced in working with infants, children, and adults is Board Certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a Fellow of the California Academy of Audiology. His research on Digital Noise Reduction was published in 2009. He is fluent in Spanish. His hobbies are ocean sports, running, and music.