Facial expressions convey countless emotions when we speak and when we don’t. The expressions for sadness, anger, happiness, fear, surprise, and disgust are the same across cultures. But how do we see those expressions in a pandemic world where everyone wears a face mask?
What about millions of people with hearing loss who rely heavily on facial expressions and lipreading to make sense of what they hear? Having a family member with a significant degree of hearing loss, I understand how frustrating it could be for a hearing-impaired person.
If only we could have a face mask that protects against air-borne infections yet doesn’t hide our expressions. Well, we do have one now and it’s government-approved.
Contechs aim for the mask was to include the community with hearing problems and offer an affordable and sustainable solution for effective communication among patients and medical professionals.
The mask has received great appreciation from Dr Helen Grote, a consultant neurologist and avid campaigner for people with hearing impairment. Dr Grote, who has been hearing impaired since birth, believes that this is the first-ever innovative solution that would support improved communication between healthcare providers and patients with varying degrees of hearing loss. It is by far the only transparent mask authorized for use in medical setups
Given that the use of traditional masks increases communication problems, especially for the differently-abled people, the innovative transparent mask is welcome news.