Covid-19 guidelines for Europe's "essential" hearing health professionals



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With hearing patients mostly in the vulnerable 65+ age group, audiology associations worldwide are meeting their responsibilities full on to provide guidelines on COVID-19. The European Association of Hearing Aid Professionals (AEA) has just released an update with a 5-step advice statement.

Issuing guidelines filtered through the experience of colleagues in hard-hit Italy, the AEA has underlined that hearing care professionals provide "essential health care". Aiming to reduce risks, the advice from this professional group is based on hearing care for clients who are asymptomatic/not infected with COVID-19.

The first step covers phone, email, or video-call contact with patients and how best to inform and counsel them. Step 2 looks at situations when appointments are mandatory, and covers COVID-19 triage procedure. Step 3 lists measures for appointments in practices without the use of face masks.

Steps 4 and 5 involve the use of face masks, listing specifications for masks and detailing fitting room rules, as well as outlining procedure for home visits.

AEA President Mark Laureyns issued the following statement regarding the guidelines: “In nearly all EU countries, the care provided by Hearing Aid Professionals is seen as an essential activity, even during lock-down and state of emergency for COVID-19.  It is essential that we can provide quality care for our customers who are in need, specifically if they also work in high priority functions or need to rely on their hearing to stay informed and to be connect by phone or other media to their dearest.  It is heart-warming to see how all our AEA member associations gave us a lot of very good support and input and that we all join forces to develop guidelines to provide appropriate care for hard of hearing people in these days of COVID-19 challenges."

For the full guideline and important links, click here.

Source: AEA