Pandemic mask mandates had unintended side effect: reveal of undiagnosed hearing problems

Audiologist Kristen Conners, of Orland Hearing Aid Center in Palos Park

A few months after the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020 and things had opened up again slightly, Palos Park audiologist Kristen Conners noticed something unusual. She was testing more patients every week for hearing loss.

It didn’t take her long to discover why. People who hadn’t realized how bad their hearing had gotten were having trouble communicating with people who were wearing masks, both because of muffled voices and the lack of facial cues.

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