Covid-19: face masks can be devastating for people with hearing loss but alternatives are available.
Chodosh and colleagues and Grote and Izagaren highlight an important matter but overlook the use of face shields, hoods, and other clear barriers that decrease disease transmission, facilitate lip reading, and reduce muffling. Face shields are also easier to manufacture, clean, and reuse. They protect the user’s eyes and are more acceptable than masks in a paediatric setting. The suggestion to adopt masks with clear windows is premature given the lack of evidence that they are more effective than face shields. Using a laser particle counter, we found that face masks and Perspex barriers had similar efficacy in reducing airborne and droplet transmission across a slit lamp. When a higher level of protection is required, clear ventilated hoods can be used and these have been successfully trialled with a view to widespread adoption. The authors have identified a salient problem to which cost effective and viable solutions are available and can be readily applied.