Doctor Sheri Mellow, an audiologist in Raleigh, North Carolina, has been treating patients curbside in order to avoid the dangers of waiting rooms and closed spaces. Being an audiologist means she’s dealing with all kinds of hearing issues, and when you combine patients with hearing issues and the noise of the street; you get a difficult situation.
It is made even more difficult by the fact she and her staff have to wear face masks. “The covered masks cut down the volume level by 10 decibels,” Mello said. “And that’s a lot. You’re cutting a quarter of the volume.”
Have you ever tried having a conversation with someone in a noisy space? Have you noticed you always end up looking at their mouths? That’s because when we can’t hear people well, we resort to reading lips. But when you’re wearing a mask that becomes really difficult to do.
If you want a fun experiment; try putting on headphones and playing something over them at a moderate volume – then have someone else try to talk to you while covering their mouth with a hand. See how much you can understand of what they are saying, then have them do it again without covering their mouth and see how much you get
Dr. Mellow was able to find a solution to this problem – masks with clear plastic windows. She found a design online and reached out to her patients asking if anyone knew how to sew. Within a week she had 30 of the masks at her work.
That was more than they needed so they sent some home with patients so their family members could use them too! Talk about giving upon giving! It’s your Good News Story of the Day and you can find it in full here.
Perhaps we should all being using this kind of a mask to make communicating easier. It’s hard enough talking to people as it is; let alone when you can’t understand them. Plus it would aid those in our community who are hard of hearing. Something to consider.
Story and Image from CNN.