Hearing loss or hearing impairment indicates partial or total inability to hear. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 48 million people in the United States have trouble hearing with one (or both) of their ears. Hearing loss may be mild, moderate, severe, or profound. The causes of hearing loss and deafness can also be congenital or acquired.
When a person is hard of hearing or deaf, it can impact their ability to communicate with others. In an emergency, a person with impaired hearing can have difficulty alerting others of their medical conditions and other important information.
This is why a medical ID bracelet or necklace is recommended to all types of hearing loss (sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss) and disorders of the ear ((tinnitus, Meniere’s disease, acoustic neuroma).
All types and levels of hearing loss can have a range of impacts on an individual. Some of these are:
The use of hearing aids or cochlear implants may be recommended by an audiologist to address these problems.
A hearing aid is a removable, battery-powered electronic device that can help improve hearing. A cochlear implant is surgically implanted especially for patients with profound loss of hearing.
In an emergency, it is important to alert responders, doctors, nurses, and other health professionals about that the presence of any device or implants. This will allow them to determine suitability and safety for undergoing diagnostic tests like MRIs, CT scans, and x-rays.
Hearing impairment can be a difficult condition to have as it can make communication complicated. Full or partial deafness may sometimes lead to misdiagnosis and miscommunication with first responders or law enforcement.
Having an easy to recognize medical ID can effectively inform others that difficulty hearing, speaking, or responding is caused by a medical issue, and not because of alcohol or substance use. A hearing-impaired medical alert bracelet or necklace will also help others find the best way to communicate with a patient be able to make the appropriate medical decisions that can save their life.
Here is a list of what to put on a hearing loss medical ID:
"When I got my first cochlear implant I began exploring medical ID bracelets in case of worst case scenarios. If something were to happen to cause my CI processors to break/fall off, render me unconscious or unable to speak - the essentials would be available for the EMS." ⠀- Michelle Hu, Au.D., Pediatric Audiologist