When will audiology practices reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic?

Someone’s need for a new HA, replacement HA, repaired HA and a CI, compared to health care needs to deal with with coronavirus patients is not fair comparison. Obviously life and death situations trump hearing loss. Yet when you think about a ENT doctor, or more to the point an audiologist/hearing aid dealer really perform their work outside the scope of the coronavirus crisis. I personally don’t see how someone being tested for a hearing loss and then ordering hearing aids impacts the medical worlds efforts to deal with the coronavirus. I’m sure there are posters on the board that still have regular service through their HA provider, yet there are many, many others who can’t get hearing related service they want, Case in point read the following.

“News of Cochlear’s legal loss came a day after the group issued its [second coronavirus-inspired earnings downgrade amid calls in the US and Europe for hospitals to delay elective surgery where possible to free up the health system for an influx of patients”.

Now I can understand how CI related surgery might impact other medical emergencies but then again isn’t CI skull surgery done on an out patient basis? Also there are audiologists at heath clinics that have been instructed to tell current/new patients “don’t call us - we will call you” at the proper time to schedule hearing related services. Well last I checked an “audiologist” was not a doctor in medical terms but a highly educated professional trained to deal with one thing - Hearing Loss. Which has nothing to do with coronavirus nor the health of patients infected with the virus.

It’s now obvious to all that the coronavirus is going to be around for a year plus and longer if a successful vaccine is not manufactured on a very large scope. So with that extended time lag (that is not guaranteed) are those who need new HA’s, those who need replacement HA’s, those who need HA repair or those who need a cochlear implant held hostage in “no man’s land” and told please be patient - we will get back to you sometime in 2021 if a successful vaccine is found for the coronavirus?

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Considering a large portion of the planet was under stay at home orders and only certain things were considered essential services I don’t really understand your point although I can appreciate your frustration. But that’s the world we live in right now for better or worse, right or wrong. I’m sure the normal hearing portion of the planet don’t agree with your thinking. And I’m sure the people who work in those fields such as audiologist or ent or hearing aid manufacturer don’t feel that they should put their health or the health of love ones in jeopardy because a complete stranger is frustrated or inconvenienced. It is I understand how you feel but this has been a tough time for everyone. But for a large portion of the planet things are beginning to open up again. Considering everyone is wearing face masks those new aids might not help as much as you had hoped. Like they say over and over and over again, we’re all in this together. PS. My audi has been open all along and has has little trouble getting almost any aid I may want to try.

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I appreciate your comments. But if I can ask why are certain states allowing tattoo parlors, bowling alleys, beauty salons, etc., to open, while many large medical clinics continue to keep there audiology departments closed? Oh I get it, tattoos and haircuts are not non-emergency related activities so they get green lighted. Last time my audi did my hearing aid reprogramming she was sitting easily six feet from me. Of course she had to put the loop device over my head but that takes half a second. And if I’m wearing a mask when I meet my audi - how exactly am I putting that person in danger???

So let’s compare someone with a major toothache. Do we say that person does not get medical attention from a dentist because his/her toothache is not life threatening? Or are you saying the person in the dentist chair might endanger the dentist being in such close proximity, even though dentists now wear double masks while a patient wears a mask?

In any case everyone going forward is going to have various medical issues. Some minor, some not minor. But those minor medical issues can become major medical issues over time if ignored or put on long term holding status. Trump wants people to to think a coronavirus vaccine will be developed and administered this year. That is pure poppycock blather. No one even knows if medical science can come up with a “home run” vaccine and if it happens it will be sometime next year or longer. So are we saying people who need hearing aids, CI, ear surgery all wait another 12 months plus until an FDA approved vaccine is offered to the masses. Now that’s scary.

I think enough time has now passed that all medical clinics that use to offer HA service, reopen up and deal with reality. Or our we saying those who need hearing aids or maybe new glasses can go to work not hearing properly or drive their cars not seeing properly? Month in - Month out well into 2021?

I think it depends on the state and how the individual states are handling this. I have hearing test and eye exam both coming up the first of June. Here we never had full stay at home orders. It has pretty much use common sense. Yes we had a lot of limitations but not as bad as some other states.
I will be choosing new hearing aids and possibly be told that I am finally ready for cataract surgery.

Well your right about location and various state actions. I’m northern Virginia/DC area and things are moving very, very slowly here at major medical facilities and other businesses as far as reopening. I’m all for waiting until respective governors of each state open things back up, as long as their emphasis is on the safety side. But when it comes to medical issues/treatment I personally think after four months of being shut down - medical assistance (to all) needs to be opened up across the board. An “audi” is not going to be involved with coronavirus patients, much less anything else since they are not qualified to do anything other than hearing related issues. And I’m sure a lot of “audi staff” would like to get back to helping people with hearing loss, but due to hospitals, PPO, HMO, large health care clinics, etc., losing money and over burdened with coronavirus patients - everything else freezes up. In the big picture I’m sure there have been quite a few people who have lost their lives because hospital X,Y, Z told them (when alive) we can’t schedule right now for your medical issue so please be patient. Well at some point patience wears out.

Hey, I am in NoVA too. My audi is in McLean. They were only open for emergencies; otherwise were working remotely. They reopened fully the week before last. I think they tend to have an older client base thus more vulnerable. We as clients have to do a coronavirus questionnaire, submit to temperature screening, and use have sanitizer they provide. Now at my ENT, no such process. Not sure if they ever closed or not though.

Mine has been open all along. Ohio. Essential service

Perhaps it is because non-healthcare businesses follow the regulations of the government and healthcare businesses follow the recommendations their medical associations, and the government and the medical people don’t actually agree on everything.

Healthcare as a whole is interested in reducing the spread of infection and has a whole host of procedures set up (and more being set up) to deal with it even apart from Covid-19. We define our clinic spaces and procedures with infection control in mind. I don’t think it’s a huge consideration for bowling alleys. Tattoo parlours and beauty salons are maybe in the middle somewhere?

I would imagine there are some big differences between how this situation is being treated by audiology clinics versus hearing aid dispensaries as well, although they often work together and in those cases would be bound by audiological regulations.

I’m trying to figure out why they shut down everything to start off with. Now they’re reopening everything and as far as I can tell nothing has changed.

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