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Pastor offers solution to ‘dreaded combo’ of hearing aid, glasses, COVID mask

By Jessica Brodie

A South Carolina United Methodist pastor has figured out how to turn a frustration into a solution, and now he’s sharing it with others so they can find relief, too.

The Rev. Murray Snow, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church, Fountain Inn, wears hearing aids and glasses, both of which go around his ears. Now, because of the pandemic, there’s a third aid in the mix: what Snow calls “the dreaded mask,” which protects people from getting or giving the coronavirus.

However, the combination has wreaked havoc on his ears—and his hearing aids. Not only did the hearing aids, glasses and mask pull his ears forward uncomfortably, but taking the mask off could get difficult.

“It was a disaster,” Snow said.

A couple weeks ago when he was delivering a sermon, he removed his mask and accidentally broke the wire on his hearing aid—something that cost him about $150 to get fixed.

“When I took hearing aids into the clinic, they told me in past two weeks they’ve never replaced so many lost hearing aids due to masks,” Snow said. “It’s an issue a lot of people I know are faced with.”

So Snow decided to come up with a fix—see if he could somehow rig his mask so it would go below his ears but around his head using a strap.

His first device was rather rudimentary. He took a paperclip, opened up one end slightly, made a hook, then hooked it over the second strap, so the mask fit under instead of over the ear.

“With a nice bridge on the mask, it’s still straight, I can take my glasses on and off, there’s nothing interfering with my ears and I can wear it for hours,” Snow said.

One of his church members brought him two button clips to use instead of the paperclip, and a quick search on Amazon showed him buttons and plastic clips can be found cheaply and easily online, too.

“Now it’s easy on and off, I can slide the mask down if want to or just remove it, and it doesn’t interfere with my hearing aids,” Snow said.

Snow made a short video to help other people see how to rig their masks like his, too, in order to wear all three aids at once.

To see the video, go to https://youtu.be/PI2cdGk3NQ8.

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