14 Mar Hearing Loss & Stethoscopes
Hearing loss has the potential to affect work and personal life. For doctors, nurses, veterinarians or other health care workers being able to hear through a stethoscope is crucial. They need to be able to hear important heart, bowel or lung sounds to be able to diagnose or treat their patients.
What are they listening for?
- Lungs sound range from 70 Hz up to 4000 Hz
- Heart sounds range from 20 Hz to 650 Hz
For those with hearing loss the best option is an amplified stethoscope which is battery operated. It is able to amplify sounds to compensate for hearing loss. They come in several different makes and models. The most popular is the Escope II which amplifies sounds by up to 50 dB.
There are a couple of solutions to ensure health care workers are able to hear these important sounds:
- With some CIC and open fit hearing aids an amplified stethoscope may be used without needing to remove hearing aids.
- With some hearing aid styles it may work best to remove hearing aids and use an amplified stethoscope. Removing hearing aids is often not ideal as patients may continue talking and the health care worker may miss parts of the conversation. Also, constant removing of hearing aids throughout the day increases the risk of losing the small devices.
- An amplified stethoscope can be used with a stethomate tip on the end. This allows the stethoscope to couple to an in the ear hearing aid.
- An amplified stethoscope can be used with headphones. They come in several different makes to accommodate all hearing aid styles.
- An amplified stethoscopes can also be plugged directly into the some hearing aids or a bluetooth remotes using the direct audio input. This transfers the sound from the stethoscope directly to the hearing aids.
- Bluetooth amplified stethoscope are also available and can be used with many of the major hearing aid manufacturers. This transfers the signal from the stethoscope to the hearing aid remote and finally to the hearing aids without any cables.
Talk to your audiologist about which solution would work best with your hearing aid!
For more info check out this article that discusses options for health professionals with hearing loss: