People With Hearing Loss Are at a Higher Risk for COVID-19. Here’s What They Can Do

 

While many know that people with cardiovascular issues are high-risk individuals of COVID-19, fewer know that hearing loss patients may also be at high risk.   

Medical professionals are urging everyone to follow rigorous social distancing guidelines and self-isolation, though it’s even more important that high-risk individuals comply. Unfortunately, many individuals with hearing loss unknowingly fall into the high-risk category.

 

Why People With Hearing Loss Are at Risk?

Most people with cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, are already at a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 and unfortunately, those diseases are usually linked to hearing loss. One study showed that people with hearing loss often have underlying cardiovascular issues that they don’t yet know about. Therefore, if you have experienced hearing loss, you should take distancing guidelines even more seriously.

Another problem is that doctors often prescribe medications and give dosage instructions verbally to their patients. While instructions are still usually available on the prescription many, patients don’t read it again if they believe they already heard the dosage amounts verbally. The problem is that they often mishear the dosage amounts and ultimately incorrectly medicate themselves.

 

How to Protect Yourself From COVID-19

First, continue to follow social distancing guidelines, self-isolation, and all other recommendations laid out by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from COVID-19 if you suffer from hearing loss.

Ask your doctor to write all medication dosage and usage for you rather than communicate it verbally. If possible, try to bring a friend or family member to meetings and ask them to be a second set of ears for you. If you have any questions, this person can also write them down and make sure that nothing is lost in translation. 

If you can do your appointments online, via telehealth, that is ideal. You can either have someone with you for the telehealth appointment, or you can record the call and send it to a friend or family member after the call. That person can then take accurate notes of the medical professional’s responses and recommendations.

Finally, if you do have to go to a hospital, make sure that you take all precautions possible. 

Get the names and phone numbers of the doctors and also write down the room numbers and buildings where your appointment will take place.  The less interaction you have in the hospital/clinic, the better. 

Be sure to also prepare yourself with a clear mask as this will help decrease miscommunication. If you’ve become accustomed to lip-reading, request that the nurse or doctor also use a clear mask.  You may choose to also bring a whiteboard or notepad to communicate more effectively with the nurse.

If you prefer to have everything written down, use a transcribing app to transcribe everything that is being said. Here are a few apps that we recommend:

Google Live Transcribe (Android) can transcribe many languages.

Microsoft Translator can type back and translate many languages.

Web Captioner can also transcribe many languages.

There are also options that allow you to connect a wired device to your body which helps your hearing aid better interpret speech.

If nothing else, consider hiring an interpreter to attend meetings with you. It’s well worth the expense to have your medication administered correctly and your insurance may cover them.

People With Hearing Loss Are at a Higher Risk for COVID-19. Here’s What They Can Do

 

While many know that people with cardiovascular issues are high-risk individuals of COVID-19, fewer know that hearing loss patients may also be at high risk.   

Medical professionals are urging everyone to follow rigorous social distancing guidelines and self-isolation, though it’s even more important that high-risk individuals comply. Unfortunately, many individuals with hearing loss unknowingly fall into the high-risk category.

 

Why People With Hearing Loss Are at Risk?

Most people with cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, are already at a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 and unfortunately, those diseases are usually linked to hearing loss. One study showed that people with hearing loss often have underlying cardiovascular issues that they don’t yet know about. Therefore, if you have experienced hearing loss, you should take distancing guidelines even more seriously.

Another problem is that doctors often prescribe medications and give dosage instructions verbally to their patients. While instructions are still usually available on the prescription many, patients don’t read it again if they believe they already heard the dosage amounts verbally. The problem is that they often mishear the dosage amounts and ultimately incorrectly medicate themselves.

 

How to Protect Yourself From COVID-19

First, continue to follow social distancing guidelines, self-isolation, and all other recommendations laid out by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from COVID-19 if you suffer from hearing loss.

Ask your doctor to write all medication dosage and usage for you rather than communicate it verbally. If possible, try to bring a friend or family member to meetings and ask them to be a second set of ears for you. If you have any questions, this person can also write them down and make sure that nothing is lost in translation. 

If you can do your appointments online, via telehealth, that is ideal. You can either have someone with you for the telehealth appointment, or you can record the call and send it to a friend or family member after the call. That person can then take accurate notes of the medical professional’s responses and recommendations.

Finally, if you do have to go to a hospital, make sure that you take all precautions possible. 

Get the names and phone numbers of the doctors and also write down the room numbers and buildings where your appointment will take place.  The less interaction you have in the hospital/clinic, the better. 

Be sure to also prepare yourself with a clear mask as this will help decrease miscommunication. If you’ve become accustomed to lip-reading, request that the nurse or doctor also use a clear mask.  You may choose to also bring a whiteboard or notepad to communicate more effectively with the nurse.

If you prefer to have everything written down, use a transcribing app to transcribe everything that is being said. Here are a few apps that we recommend:

Google Live Transcribe (Android) can transcribe many languages.

Microsoft Translator can type back and translate many languages.

Web Captioner can also transcribe many languages.

There are also options that allow you to connect a wired device to your body which helps your hearing aid better interpret speech.

If nothing else, consider hiring an interpreter to attend meetings with you. It’s well worth the expense to have your medication administered correctly and your insurance may cover them.

  

  

  

Do you think you might be suffering from hearing loss? Call or chat today to talk with one of our Hearing Consultants:  

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