“Stay home!” That’s the message most of us have been hearing for the last few months. As our nation continues to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve been encouraged to social distance and limit our exposure to others. For many individuals with hearing loss, it has raised the question, “is it safe to visit my audiologist?”
Generally, the answer is ‘yes’. Health care centers that have remained open during the pandemic, or are just beginning to re-open now, are required to follow local, state, and CDC protocols for everyone’s safety. In fact, Healthy Hearing recently released a helpful checklist that can help you know just what you might experience at your next visit to your hearing care provider.
What to expect when you visit your audiologist during the pandemic
While there are certainly nuances that are different between offices and different healthcare providers, here are a few things you can expect to see or experience:
- Your hearing care provider should have a Covid-19 update which describes exactly what is being done to protect staff and patients.
- Patients who are feeling ill are instructed to stay home and then schedule an appointment when they are feeling better.
- Both staff and patients are screened for potential illness. This may include asking about symptoms you’ve experienced and/or taking your temperature.
- Deep cleaning and disinfecting of office space and equipment will be done throughout the day, not just once per day as it may have been done in the past.
- Patients and staff will be required to wear a mask. If there is person-to-person contact, staff will also wear gloves.
- Masks can interfere with hearing – if they must be taken off to allow for accurate communication, it will be done at a safe distance.
- Some audiologist visits may be conducted remotely through telehealth, depending on state and insurance requirements.
- Curbside service may be available for pickup of hearing aid supplies or minor hearing aid adjustments.
- When you visit your audiologist during the pandemic, you may need to go alone. Family members may be able to “join” the appointment via video or phone.
Don’t let hearing loss go untreated
If you’ve been putting off a visit to your audiologist simply for safety reasons, now is the time to change that. Untreated hearing loss can lead to other problems such as social isolation, depression, and cognitive issues. Hearing loss can also have a negative impact on your relationships. Now, with all of the additional safety measures in place to combat Covid-19, it IS safe to visit your audiologist during the pandemic. Schedule an appointment today to get the hearing treatment you need!
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