Santa Clarita Audiologist Nola Aronson, owner of Advanced Audiology, noted that those with hearing loss are facing unique challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nola Aronson, a Santa Clarita audiologist, explained the ways the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted those with hearing loss.
“A lot of us who have hearing loss depend on visual cues to watch peoples’ lips or see their face or see their expression. And it’s very vital to have these visual cues for the human brain to process and understand speech,” said Aronson.
Aronson explained that visual cues are important for communicating effectively, even amongst “those that have really mild cases of hearing loss.” She said that this makes it “more difficult for approximately 48 million Americans — approximately 20 percent of the population who are living with hearing loss.
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Aronson noted that, while working with her patients at Advanced Audiology, she’s had more reports of missing and misplaced hearing aids than ever before. The Santa Clarita audiologist believes many people are losing their hearing aids when removing their face masks.
“With the masks on, people who are wearing hearing aids need to be very, very careful,” said Aronson. “We’ve got more lost hearing aids in the last month than ever before; and that’s because they have their hearing aid on, the loops go around, they go to take the mask off and the hearing aid goes flying somewhere.”
In order to combat this growing trend, Aronson suggested hearing aid wearers “be very conscious” when removing their masks, making sure to check that “they’re still in your ear while you’re standing in the same place.”
Aronson additionally recommended those who may be noticing a reduction in hearing ability visit her clinic, Advanced Audiology, for a free hearing screening.
“Many people have come in (to Advanced Audiology) and have gotten their baseline hearing screenings before, and they’ve shown some hearing loss,” the Santa Clarita audiologist said. “What we’re interested in finding out is, now that you’ve had to be ‘Safer at Home’ for so long, and you’ve been with family and … watching TV, how many people out there have noticed that they actually do have a hearing problem.”
Aronson noted that those who are concerned about hearing loss can take advantage of Advanced Audiology’s free hearing screenings now that her clinic has begun once again offering in-person appointments.
In order to protect staff and clients, Advanced Audiology is adhering to new guidelines put in place by the CDC in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have changed a lot of our methods of how we do business here to keep our employees and our patients very safe,” said Aronson. “So long as you’re able to leave your house, it is very safe to come to our office.”
These guidelines include clients checking in for appointments via telephone while parked in their cars. When patients call the front desk, Advanced Audiology staff will make sure there is a clean, disinfected exam room available to receive them and call back when they are ready.
“We do not have anybody right now in our waiting room because our waiting room is not that big and we want to make sure that people are able to be six feet apart,” Aronson explained.
Before patients enter the building, they first must complete health questionnaires and have their temperatures taken.
“Everybody is wearing masks here,” the Santa Clarita audiologist said. “We’re disinfecting everything as we go along. We’re washing our hands every few minutes and wiping everything down.”
In addition, Advanced Audiology is maintaining a smaller on-site staff at any given time to help keep social distancing rules in place. This allows the audiology clinic to “space the patients and we’re not using the same audio booths,” said Aronson. “That way we can … keep it clean and have different earphones and microphone covers for each of us.”
Because there are fewer providers in the office at any given time, Aronson said that she’s working around patients’ schedules to ensure she can take as many appointments as possible.
“We have extended our business hours; we’re taking appointments up until 7 o’clock at night,” said Aronson. “For people who can’t get in during the day, we can have evening appointments, and we may be starting some Saturday appointments also, if it makes it easier for people to get in.”
Amongst the many challenges facing those with hearing loss during the coronavirus pandemic, there are those that can be avoided with attention to detail and care for patients. Santa Clarita audiologist Nola Aronson and the Advanced Audiology team are working hard to go “above and beyond what it takes to give somebody the best hearing they can possibly have.”
Advanced Audiology was founded in 2010 by Santa Clarita audiologist Nola Aronson, who has been fitting hearing aids for more than 30 years. Advanced Audiology is the largest diagnostic hearing center in the Santa Clarita Valley, focusing on clients with hearing loss, tinnitus, ears ringing and more. Hearing tests, hearing aids and new sound infrared devices are also available at Advanced Audiology in addition to a complete hearing healthcare program that includes free batteries, quarterly cleanings and adjustments.
23822 Valencia Blvd. #103
Valencia, CA 91355