by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
February 12, 2017
For decades I’ve wished that doctors, dentists and other health care professionals would wear clear, surgical masks so that I could speechread them. I know many of you with similar severe hearing losses feel the same.
In the past, I’ve read about clear masks that had been invented, but I never heard of anyone actually using them. Apparently a serious flaw was that these clear masks quickly fogged up from the wearer’s breath, so they were useless for speechreading.
Then, in 2011, Nex-Gen Clear Surgical Masks became available. I wrote about these new face masks in my article “Clear Surgical Masks That Let You Speechread Your Doctor and Other Health Care Professionals Now Available!”
Unfortunately, the FDA yanked them from the market in 2012 for not being sterile or sanitary enough in use. That’s the bad news.
Now for the good news. My friend, Dr. Anne McIntosh, Ph.D., president of Safe’N’Clear received FDA approval at the end of 2016 for her new, clear, surgical face mask called “The Communicator”.
“The Communicator” combines the best of traditional fabric face masks and clear plastic face masks so you can easily see the wearer’s mouth, but don’t have fogging problems because of their unique design.
Look at the difference! The traditional mask on the left is impossible to speechread, while “The Communicator” on the right makes speechreading a pleasure. You’d almost think there wasn’t a plastic shield over the mouth, wouldn’t you?
I’ve followed Dr. Anne over the past few years as she has worked hard to design, get approval, and bring to market this much-needed face mask.
More good news. The Communicator is manufactured right here in the USA so you don’t have to worry about poor quality control.
Not only do these clear surgical masks help hard of hearing patients understand their masked health care professionals, but also, they help hard of hearing professionals communicate with their co-workers.
For example, a hard of hearing nurse working in the operating room is at a distinct disadvantage when masked doctors tell her to do something. If all the operating room staff wear these clear surgical masks, then any hard of hearing staff will be able to speechread them.
“The Communicator” clear, surgical face mask is now available for everyone—hospitals, doctor offices, medical facilities, dental clinics, and you.
Spread the word and help these masks to catch on. Send this article (or just the URL) of to all your doctors, dentists, nurses, paramedics and health care professionals—anyone that typically wears a surgical mask. Let them know just how much these clear masks will help them effectively communicate with you. Ask them to get some of these clear face masks and wear them when around you (and other hard of hearing people) when you next visit them.
While Dr. Anne is setting up distribution channels, you can order “The Communicator” face masks directly from Safe’N’Clear. The introductory price for these masks is just $1.50 each. You can obtain 40 of these masks in a dispenser box for $60.00 ,or purchase a case (10 dispenser boxes) for $500.00 ($1.25 each) plus shipping/handling.