20 March 2020

COVID-19 virus and the hard of hearing

The whole world is now in the grip of the COVID-19 virus. For the hard of hearing, COVID-19 poses some special challenges.

Hearing and communication are essential in a time of emergency, like the period we are now experiencing globally with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Individuals need access to news reports from the television and the internet. In a time when people are practicing social distancing, they need to be able to communicate virtually via phones and other virtual platforms with loved ones. Hearing plays a central role in much of this communication and it is important for the hard of hearing to take full advantage of their hearing instruments.

Keep your hearing instruments clean

At home, hearing instrument users should always wash their hands before touching their hearing instruments. Make sure the hearing instruments are always clean and disinfected when they are replaced after battery changing, sleep or other reasons for taking them of.

Guidelines for hearing care professionals

It should be as safe as possible to visit a hearing care professional.

Hearing aid professionals around the world have adopted guidelines and recommendations for professional hearing care. The aim of the guidelines and recommendations is to be able to continue to deliver vital hearing health care and at the same time avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Guidelines and recommendations have for example been made by The European Association of Hearing Professionals AEA. (www.aea-audio.org). and The American Academy of Audiology (www.audiology.org). A direct link to the guidelines from the European AEA is here. The recommendations from The American Academy of Audiology can be found here.

Guidelines from the WHO

Apart from that, the hard of hearing should observe the general COVID-19 guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO has some basic advice and protective measures for the public against the COVID-19 virus.

The headlines of these are:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • If you have a fever, a cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
  • Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider

The full text of the advice from the WHO can be found here.

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