There are a number of issues associated with people having hearing loss. Suppose you are suffering from hearing loss (mild) from a week. Thus, you decided to visit a doctor to Attending A Doctor Appointment With Hearing Loss and have your hearing test.
Going to the doctor can be stressful in some situations. Doctors have a lot of pressure to see and report each and every patient per day. When your doctor encounters you, he gives you treatment instructions.
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- Things to know for a seamless experience when visiting the doctor
- Communication Access Plan
- 10 Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What can Audiologists do?
- Tips For Attending A Doctor Appointment With Hearing Loss
People with hearing loss must be active in all medical situations. If you are deaf then you must have an interpreter when going to a doctor so that your sign language can be understood by him. It will also help you to understand what instructions your doctor is giving to you.
According to the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), it’s a duty of health care providers to furnish communication services to hearing-impaired people. These people usually suffer more due to miscommunication. However, by counseling these patients with tips and advice for attending a doctor’s appointment with hearing disability, we can give them access to appropriate and effective healthcare.
Things to know for a seamless experience when visiting the doctor
Before you visit your doctor, consider the communication plan to deal with everyone you see while going for your checkup.
Hearing-impaired people can communicate in many ways with health personnel. Some people use sign language to talk, some express by writing notes and some bring someone with them to interpret. When visiting an eye clinic or booking appointments, patients must bring their interpreter or hearing aids along with them.
Reception Or Waiting Area
Waiting areas in the clinic are often very noisy. Patients with hearing loss can’t hear properly when their names are announced. Following Provisional rules may be helpful.
- In the waiting room, when his or her turn seems to arrive, use a number system or sign.
- On clearly visible display screens, write the most important info.
- You can ask your patients whether they are suffering from hearing loss by putting up signs on the board.
- If the patient with hearing loss calls in advance to make an appointment, ask their preference for communication.
- Make sure consultation takes place in a suitable setting when you are assured that your patient is hearing impaired.
- Keep details of any communication requirements on the patient’s file.
The Meeting Room
- Give privacy to patients so that they can discuss their problems without getting anyone to know about their medical history.
- Try to minimize distractions for your patient especially for a child.
- Reduce background noises.
- There should be enough light in the room to ensure that your patient can see your face.
- Ask them to wear their hearing aids and sit closer to you than you would to another patient.
- Try to have a helper of the same gender as your patient in the room.
Remember That Your Face Is An Important Communication Tool
- Face the patient, not their interpreter.
- Remove any masks or face shield.
- Keeping anything in your mouth or between the lips can distort the communication.
- Try to have more light on your face than the other person sitting next to you.
- Support your speech with your facial expressions.
- Make use of the local culture of gestures, expressions, and physical contact.
Ensure You Speak Effectively
- Always speak with normal speed.
- Use short and simple sentences.
- Never extend your speech too largely.
- Ask questions to clear doubts about what the patient is saying.
Use Other Means (Writing, Signing)
- If the patient uses sign language either take the help of an interpreter or learn the sign language by yourself.
- Be ready to write questions and answers. Even give an opportunity for the patient to do the same.
- Write down all the instructions regarding medicines and schedule.
- Prefer large font size for writing to help vision-impaired people to read well.
- Use pictures and drawings to help patients to understand well.
If you wear hearing aids, take time, and adjust them for the best possible sound. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor to use microphones in case you are using a personal amplification system.
Communication Access Plan
A Communication Access Plan contains important information for your hearing specialists and their staff. It contains all the information about how to best communicate with you. It provides all the details about what devices you use. It tells them what services you require regarding hearing loss. Overall, it’s the best tool for effective communication.
For proper guidelines to use CAP, refer to Effective Communication Guide For Healthy Hearing.
10 Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What type of hearing loss do I have?
- Do my both ears have some hearing loss?
- Do I need hearing aids for both ears?
- Which type of hearing aid is suitable for my hearing loss and lifestyle?
- If I purchase hearing aids from you, will it add an additional cost to me?
- How do you need to check or adjust my hearing aid?
- How long will these hearing aids last?
- What type of warranty is available for these hearing devices?
- What if after purchasing hearing aids from you, I get dissatisfied with their performance?
- Does my insurance cover the cost of these hearing aids?
What can Audiologists do?
- They evaluate your hearing in detail.
- They recommend, fit, service, and adjust hearing aids
- They recommend assistive listening devices and some provide it too.
- They diagnose and also treat the tinnitus, dizziness, and balance disorders in the ear.
- They provide the knowledge of noise-related hearing loss and also recommended some hearing protection to prevent hearing loss.
- They providing counseling and aural rehabilitation
- Audiologists help to choose the correct hearing aids.
When you go for the first time, the audiologist will first ask about your case history (medical history, complaints, and symptoms). Audiologists will perform the following tests:
- Otoscopy: He will check your ear canal by magnifying penlight into it. He will check for blockage, earwax, or any other problem associated with it.
- Tympanometry: In Tympanometry, the doctor checks your middle ear functionality. He will analyze how your eardrum responds to light pressure. The detection through this test can inhibit the motion of fluid, ear infection, and eustachian tube dysfunction.
- Audiometry: It includes two further tests – Air Conduction Testing and Bone Conduction Testing
Tips For Attending A Doctor Appointment With Hearing Loss
Making an appointment with a doctor is a very simple procedure for ordinary people. But this is not the same as for everyone. People who suffer from hearing loss find difficulties in making an appointment with an audiologist or a hearing specialist.
There are some issues and challenges list which can occur in people with hearing loss while scheduling the appointment. So, here are some tips for attending a doctor’s appointment with hearing loss to overcome the challenges.
Get to know your doctor’s hospital or office
Before visiting your nearest GP, research about the layout where they work. Many GP’s or doctors have their presence on the internet and they schedule online appointments and cancellation, give offers to their regular customers, and give preference to their everyday patients. You can take time and learn how they called their patients for an appointment.
Now some Gp’s have the illuminated signboards through which they flash the patient and doctor’s name and the room number. It is very useful if you sit at the place where you can see the board. If you are aware of the place where you visiting you can explore more to know what procedure they follow for the checkup to save your time and uncertainty.
Doctors are operating on some information that is given in medical files. If you don’t tell your doctor that you have hearing loss it is considered that you have a perfect hearing. Hearing loss is an invisible disability that’s why it is underestimated. If you are visiting the hospital then you can tell the receptionist that you are hard of hearing which can be magical words.
The receptionist will keep in their mind that she should speak clearly and they also get medical staff to you if you don’t have an appointment. If you don’t like to tell about your hearing loss to other people then you can buy a badge or you can purchase a personal awareness pack. This will be helpful items to let people know that you have hearing loss.
Be ready to explain
People expected the professional who has very overall, clear, practical knowledge about all the health problems and difficulties. Doctors are very busy people and they have many works to do. It can happen that your professional has very little and limited knowledge about your disabilities. So it is important that your professional has to understand your needs and challenges before visiting the professional.
There are some misconceptions between deaf and hard of hearing people. Mostly professional thinks that hearing aids can completely fulfill the needs of deaf and hard of hearing people. Mostly your nearest GP does not have a brief knowledge about all the health problems and if you visit your nearest GP for severe hearing loss or other disabilities it could happen that you can lose your hearing or other parts due to lack of knowledge and proper treatment.
Before visiting the professional it must be needed that you have to aware of your problems and disabilities. People are their own experts. They know when they found any difficulty in hearing in certain situations. For example, some have no problem in one to one conversations but in a group, they found difficulties in hearing. It happens when they talking across and over each other. It is very easy to lose in conversation and your hearing aids would also not enough in the noisy environment. So, Awareness about your hearing loss can be dividends in the long term.
Know your rights
People who have hearing loss have the same right as ordinary people. If someone has a disability, confirmed by the medical profession, have the same right to access appointments as others. It means doctors and nurses have the responsibility or obligation to tell that you can access and attend any appointments. You have the right to the same level of care, treatment and personal needs as any other patient has.
If you seem any hearing problem or hearing difficulty then consult your nearest General Physician(GP). He will look into your ear and advise some medications. It probably happens that they refer you to some audiologists based on your signs and symptoms. In the severe conditions audiologist do some hearing tests. If medications are not working then he will suggest some other treatment and hearing aids.
You can also get expert advice and help by dialing the toll-free number +91-9899437202. Start your conversation today.