How are Clear Face Masks helpful for the Hearing Impaired? Here’s All You Need To Know
The pandemic has been looming large over the world for the past year, and it simply refuses to leave our lives for good. Like all other countries, Canada has also suffered a huge loss of precious human life in this tumultuous time.
Canada has dealt with more than 1,376,734 Coronavirus cases and 25,478 deaths in its fight against covid-19. This is, by no means, a small number or one that you can take lightly in the current scenario. Thus, the doctors and healthcare experts are constantly asking the residents to mask up and stay indoors as much as possible.
But what about the hearing impaired or the ones who are hard of hearing? Isn’t wearing a mask a difficult endeavor for them? Let’s delve deeper into the matter and look into a possible solution.
The Difficulty of Wearing Face Masks for Hearing Impaired
Hearing loss continues to be one of the top five causes of years lived with a disability in Canada. Approximately 54% of Canadians aged 40 to 79 (i.e., 8.2 million) have at least mild hearing loss in the high-frequency range based on audiometric testing. At least 35% have some degree of hearing loss in the high-frequency range. And masks can be a major hindrance to communication for the hearing impaired.
People who are hearing impaired rely heavily on facial expressions and lip reading of others to communicate. They speak and also rely a lot on their gestures to explain things to people. The usual face masks can be highly obstructive in this case. One of the effective ways to mitigate this issue is to switch to clear face masks for adults.
What Are Clear Face Masks?
Clear face masks are exactly what they sound like: there is a clear panel in the mask to have the wearer’s mouth visible through the panel. The Clear Face Mask Canada is a fabric mask with a transparent panel sewn in so that you are able to see the wearer’s mouth. You will also find a completely clear mask, but the former has greater popularity among people.
The fully clear masks are usually single-use products that the manufacturers sell in bulk. Unlike the fabric mask with a clear panel, the fully clear masks are not really for everyday use.
Qualities of a Good Clear Mask
As mentioned earlier, wearing a clear face mask comes with several benefits for the hearing impaired, especially in a country like Canada, where it’s a major disability. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when selecting clear masks.
The first and foremost thing that you need to make sure of is that the mask does not get all sweaty and hot, and the material remains permeable. The material should not make it hard to breathe because you’ll get tempted to remove your mask in that case.
Check how easily you can breathe in the mask before using it day in and day out. In a good-quality clear mask, the panel will not attract a lot of condensation. This is important because such droplets can also be an infection risk.
The construction should be such that it properly fits the face without affecting breathability. The panel needs to be rigid enough to fit snugly and mold to your face.
You will get a better idea about the construction if you note how the clear panel gets sewn in the mask. Look closely to see if there are any seams or gaps where tiny particles can move through. The fabric and the clear panel need to overlap and remain tightly attached.
Since Canada favors the fabric-and-panel kind of clear masks, let’s take you through the right way to wash them. First off, it is very easy to wash. Do not put masks with clear panels in the washing machine because it makes the plastics warp. Just wipe off and sanitize the clear panel and wash your mask by hand for cleaning the fabric.
The clear panel steaming or fogging up is a major issue if the mask is not of the finest quality. You should opt for clear masks that have moisture-repellant or anti-fogging features. It also depends a lot on the kind of material used for the panel. Clear vinyl will fog up quickly, but polypropylene will not do the same.
You can improve the anti-fogging quality of your clear mask by using shaving foam, anti-moisture spray, and dishwashing liquid. Many people even use the kind of spray that goes on motorbike helmets. But using such foams and sprays are short-term solutions if the mask does not already have moisture-repellent qualities.
Do Clear Face Masks Actually Aid In Communication?
Opaque masks can make it highly challenging or impossible for some individuals to communicate. The level of improvement noticed with clear masks, in comparison, is undeniable. Clear masks can offer a reasonable solution and are better for communication than opaque masks.
However, the level of satisfaction of the wearer completely depends on the factors mentioned above. For instance, if the clear mask is not breathable and comfortable to wear, the wearer will want to open it as soon as possible. They might even start fidgeting with the uncomfortable mask, which will leave them more vulnerable to infections.
Clear masks are particularly useful in cases where ongoing communication is essential, such as in healthcare settings, classrooms, and even for the ones giving a theatrical performance. Many performers these days are also turning to clear masks to showcase their expressions while staying safe and protected.
As you can understand by now, clear face masks come with a host of definite benefits. But you can only get all those advantages from a quality product. Thus, always opt for them from a reputed store, whether offline or online. And Canada has many such stores that can provide you with excellent clear face masks. Try them and see the benefits yourself!