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Original Articles

COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and problems faced by patients due to difficult hearing

Authors:

Umesh Jayarajah,

Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Kalubowila, LK
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Oshan Basnayaka,

Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Kalubowila, LK
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Heshan Siriwardena,

Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Kalubowila, LK
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Anuruddha M. Abeygunasekera

Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Kalubowila, LK
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Abstract

Aims: The impact of COVID-19 is considerable in patients with hearing impairment who are faced with difficulties in communication due to masks and social distancing. We aimed to provide a preliminary description about difficulties faced by a group of patients due to hearing impairment. We collected data from 300 consecutive patients from a tertiary care urology clinic at Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Sri Lanka. A self-administered questionnaire was used. Chi-Square test was used for statistical analysis.

 

The mean age of the patients was 55.9 (range:11-85). Eight patients (2.7%) had previous known hearing impairment. Repetition of instructions were required at least once due to hearing impairment in 27.3% (once:14.3%; twice:7.0%; three times:3.3%; >three times:2.7%). However, around 81.7% reported that they had no hearing problems while others reported some dif ficulty (18.3%: mild-10.3%, n=31; moderate-4.3%,n=13 and severe-3.7%,n=11). Nine patients (3.0%) required lowering of the mask to enable lip reading in order to understand the instructions and all reported moderate/severe hearing impairment (moderate: n=1, severe: n=8). Patient reported hearing impairment was significantly higher in those aged ≥65 years (31% vs. 11%, p<0.001).

 

Around 18% of our cohort experienced some form of hearing difficulty. Thus, awareness among the healthcare providers and general public should be improved. Further studies on the impact of this problem with special focus on possible solutions are necessary.
How to Cite: Jayarajah U, Basnayaka O, Siriwardena H, Abeygunasekera AM. COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and problems faced by patients due to difficult hearing. Jaffna Medical Journal. 2021;33(1):33–6. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jmj.v33i1.120
Published on 30 Jul 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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