Bhavika Chauhan, audiologist and owner of Tailored Hearing solutions in Lancaster, discusses the effects of COVID-19 on hearing services and the hearing impaired.
The correlation between hearing loss, risk of loneliness, social isolation, depression and even dementia has been a cause for concern amongst health professionals far before the Coronavirus outbreak. For those with hearing loss, the normal safety nets provided by the support of friends and family can often soften the impact of a sensory impairment and so the necessity for many over 70’s or those at a higher risk to self -isolate may draw a new level of attention to the extent to which hearing loss maybe affecting their everyday life.
‘Watching the television, listening to the radio and video calling my family and friends has given me some form of normality during lockdown. I cannot imagine not being able to do those things in the time that I have spent at home. My thought goes to many of the over 70’s with hearing loss, sight loss or both who may have been unable to enjoy those things or use them as an anchor to give life some normality as I have.’
Audiologists have had to re-think the way we deliver care to our patients. Introduction of additional PPE such as facemasks worn by both clinician and patient can limit lipreading and sound transmission and adds further challenges to our communication challenges. In the current interest of safety however, they are a must. We have standardised PPE, social distancing measures & increased infection control procedures within the clinic to enable us to continue providing essential appointments to those in need. Hearing aid technology is already available that enables remote adjustments can be made without being face-to-face and looking to the future, may play a vital role in our treatment options.
What services are available to me?
Although NHS Audiology services are still running a skeleton service, routine appointments such as ear wax removal may not be readily available. At Tailored Hearing, we are ensuring that we can continue to see patients safely and effectively whether that be for ear wax removal or a free hearing test. We are open for all your hearing needs. We are operating a locked door policy to ensure that there is only one person in the clinic at a time reassuring your safety and ours.
Hearing appointments available every day at Tailored Hearing Solutions, 139 St Leonards Gate, Lancaster, LA1 1NL. Call to book on 01524 587623
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