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Reading Room

The reading room includes articles and videos of potential interest to consumers and medical professionals. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the NC Medical Board, its members and staff.

Can you repeat that? Hearing trouble more obvious with masks

AP News
November 23, 2020
As nurse Teri Wheat made her rounds at a Texas maternity ward, she began to realize she was having a hard time understanding the new mothers who were wearing masks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So she got her hearing tested and now wears hearing aids.

Her hearing loss “became more noticeable the more barriers that we had to have,” said Wheat, 52, who wears a mask and a face shield at work to protect herself and others against the virus.

Hearing specialists across the U.S. say they have seen an uptick in visits from people like Wheat, who only realized how much they relied on lip reading and facial expressions when people started wearing masks that cover the nose and mouth.

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Sleepless Nights, Hair Loss And Cracked Teeth: Pandemic Stress Takes Its Toll

NPR/KHN
October 14, 2020
In late March, shortly after New York state closed nonessential businesses and asked people to stay home, Ashley Laderer began waking each morning with a throbbing headache.

“The pressure was so intense it felt like my head was going to explode,” the 27-year-old freelance writer from Long Island recalls.

She tried spending less time on the computer and taking over-the-counter pain medication, but the pounding kept breaking through — a constant drumbeat to accompany her equally incessant worries about COVID-19.

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Face masks: what the data say

Nature
October 6, 2020
When her Danish colleagues first suggested distributing protective cloth face masks to people in Guinea-Bissau to stem the spread of the coronavirus, Christine Benn wasn’t so sure.

“I said, ‘Yeah, that might be good, but there’s limited data on whether face masks are actually effective,’” says Benn, a global-health researcher at the University of Southern Denmark in Copenhagen, who for decades has co-led public-health campaigns in the West African country, one of the world’s poorest.

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Did Pangolin trafficking cause the Coronavirus pandemic?

The New Yorker
August 24, 2020
The elusive animals’ possible involvement in the origins of COVID-19 gives them a weird ambivalence: threatened and, perhaps, dangerous.

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Why do we have different blood types — and do they make us more vulnerable to Covid-19?

CNN
July 16, 2020
Most humans fall into one of four blood groups — A, B, AB or O. Ordinarily, your blood type makes very little difference in your daily life except if you need to have a blood transfusion. However, some studies have people wondering if blood type affects coronavirus risk. One, for instance, suggests that people with Type A may have a higher risk of catching Covid-19 and of developing severe symptoms while people with Type O blood may have a lower risk.

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What a Negative COVID-19 Test Really Means

The Atlantic
June 21, 2020
You go out to a bar with friends this week, and you’re planning to visit your elderly relatives in a few days. You feel healthy, and you even get a COVID-19 test out of caution. The result comes back negative. Is it safe to go?

Not exactly, experts say. How well COVID-19 tests work in people who feel healthy is still a key unknown of the pandemic.

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