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Monthly Archives: August 2020

Tips for masks and social distancing

As we all start communicating together more it’s important to recognize and compensate for the difficulties masks and distance present when trying to listen. Regardless of whether or not someone has a hearing loss the significant decrease in volume and clarity can cause miscommunications.

Here are some tips to help you maintain clear understanding in your relationships.

For the listener:

Look at what you want to hear – Even though masks may be hindering ability to lipread you can still pick up on other visual cues and benefit from the boost the shape of ours ears gives to the sound coming from in front. For this same reason you want to keep any “back” ground noises behind your back where they belong.

Never say “huh” or “what” – Instead repeat what you did hear in the form of a question so that your communication partner knows you were listening and knows what part you missed.

Hearing aid adjustments may be necessary – If available with your devices you can try “mask mode” on your app or a special mask program created by your provider. Turning up the volume by one click will help over come distance issues. Increasing your treble/highs by one or two clicks will help improve clarity to compensate for mask mumble.

For the speaker:

Rephrase rather than repeating – They didn’t hear it correctly the first time, why would a second time exactly the same way be any different? Use synonyms and different word orders until you find what works to get your message across.

Do not shout – This distorts speech and makes it harder to hear. Instead, use clear speech techniques like speaking at a slower pace, using occasional pauses, and enunciating without over articulating.

For both:

Modify the communication environment – choose well-lit areas and keep face out of shadows, turn off noise or move further away from it.

Do not let important conversations go sideways – Ever notice how in places where people want you to be quiet/not talk (movie theaters, lecture halls, etc.) the seats are all side by side in rows, but dinner tables, conference rooms, living room chairs/sofas, etc. all tend to position everyone facing each other?
Ask for/provide written materials to avoid communication errors.

Consider clear face shields or masks with clear windows. They don’t just help with lipreading. They also let others see your smile!

Now offering Drive Thru and Telehealth appointments

We are excited to announce two new services available to our patients, Drive-Thru and Telehealth virtual appointments.

Drive-Thru Window Appointments:

Our drive thru teller window is open by appointment for supplies, batteries and even certain appointment types from the comfort and safety of your vehicle.

Drive thru appointments can be scheduled through our patient portal or by calling us at (704) 799-7925.

Telehealth Virtual Appointments:

Our telehealth system will enable us to perform certain appointment types online without you having to visit the office. These appointments can be scheduled through our patient portal or by calling us at (704) 799-7925.

NOTE: You must be in North Carolina at the time of the appointment. Please see below for further details on telehealth instructions and appointment compatibility.

Telehealth instructions:

  1. Verify that you have a compatible internet ready device – see list below.
  2. Get in touch with our office to verify that your appointment type is eligible to be converted to telehealth and that your hearing devices are able to be adjusted remotely.
  3. Click on the link in your appointment confirmation email to attend your appointment.

Supported Devices:

  • Web: Latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari as well as Internet Explorer 10 and 11 (through the OpenTok plugin), Chrome on Android, Firefox on Android.
  • iOS: iOS 6.0+, iPhone 4S+, iPod Touch 5+, iPad 2+, iPad Mini. Supported browser: Safari. Not supported browsers: Chrome and Firefox Note: In iOS 11 the WebView does not have access to the microphone and camera. This in turn means that Chrome, Firefox, or any hybrid application built using the iOS WebView cannot access the microphone and camera which prevents compatibility with the OpenTok platform.
  • Android: Android 4.1+ and devices from the the Samsung Galaxy, Google, Motorola Moto, and LG Optimus families.
  • Windows: Windows 7, Windows 8.x & Windows 10

Important COVID-19 Announcement!