How does Telemedicine Work?

Are you having trouble following conversations at home? Do hearing issues make you feel less confident to explore or stay active? If you are dealing with hearing loss but afraid to schedule an in-person hearing check up, then you are not alone. 

This is particularly true for 1 out of 3 people over the age of 65 who deal with age related hearing loss and are also at a higher health risk for COVID-19. However, it is important to understand that as many offices have limited in person appointments this does not have to stop you from having your hearing issues dealt with. 

With the current popularity of telemedicine during this pandemic, many are learning that they don’t have to struggle through hearing issues while they wait to receive a vaccine. 

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine allows patients to communicate with a healthcare provider using technology, as opposed to dealing with the risk or hassle of physically visiting a doctor’s office or hospital.  With telemedicine, you can virtually discuss symptoms, medical issues, and more with a healthcare provider in real time using video chat, telephone or online portals. 

Your provider can give you a diagnosis, explain your options, and prescribe the best treatment. In the case of hearing aids, audiologists can monitor readings from hearing aids remotely to keep updated on your condition. 

Greater Access for More Patients

One of the greatest benefits of telemedicine is the ability to provide an expanded base of care. As Baby Boomers reach the age where hearing issues are common, the demand for audiology services has been rapidly increasing. However, the number of audiologists hasn’t kept up, especially in rural areas where the nearest audiologist may be a long distance away. 

Distance from an office is a huge barrier for patients who suffer from hearing loss. This is particularly true for older patients who have limited mobility or struggle to find transportation for an in-person appointment. In addition to creating an easier solution for many seniors with mobility issues, eliminating hours of back and forth commuting, telehealth might actually put many at ease, by attending the appointment virtually. 

Many seniors feel more comfortable to share greater detail about their hearing issues, providing audiologists with valuable details to provide improved care. 

Audiology For Those With Limited Mobility

For many seniors in nursing homes, assisted living facilities or at home, traveling to the doctor can be a huge hurtle. Now due to the pandemic many of these facilities are shut down to protect the community from a COVID-19 outbreak. This is one way that telemedicine can still reach seniors who rely on hearing health for improved mobility, and socialization that is important for keeping seniors engaged and reducing the risk of dementia.

Programming Hearing Aids Virtually 

Today, more and more hearing aids are compatible with Smartphone and desktop applications, which allow audiologists to program and make adjustments to hearing aids from a distance. One way that this works is by asking questions and surveys about hearing experiences. When these surveys are answered accurately, audiologists can make educated adjustments to hearing aids without having to have an in person appointment. 

This allows greater performance for hearing aid users allowing users to enhance their hearing experience. Any adjustment will only be done with consent to the user, however if this type of technology does not seem appealing, you can still have an online consultation in which an audiologist can ask you questions to find out how best your hearing aids can serve you.

Monitoring Hearing Health from a Distance

For those of you who are not sure if you have a hearing loss but may suspect you have an issue, contact us today! 

If you suspect that you have a hearing issue or may need readjustments to your hearing aids, don’t have to put it off another day. Contact us today and learn how you can access the full potential of your hearing.