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Introduction to Hearing ID Cards and Jewelry

Hearing ID bracelets, pendants, and related jewelry are an excellent way to expedite treatment, avoid misdiagnosis and/or miscommunication with a hard of hearing (H-O-H) or hearing-impaired person (H-I-P) during an emergency.

In medical matters, paramedics are trained to look for medical ID bracelets, pendants and similar jewelry, according to the Mayo Clinic. As examples, there are medical ID’s for: diabetes, kids with allergies, bee stings, dairy, egg, latex, nuts, peanuts, penicillin, shellfish, wheat, Alzheimer’s, autism, blood thinners, caregivers, celiac disease, Coumadin, dementia, epilepsy, EpiPen, and the list goes on.

Hearing Impairment Medical IDs and Information

Deafness or moderate to profound hearing loss is a serious condition affecting many millions of people worldwide and an estimated 60 million people with their families are affected in the USA. It is also estimated that some 10,000 people every day are turning 65 years of age, of which 40% will develop hearing impairment, as they live longer and otherwise lead healthier lives in the USA.

Stated another way, 4000 people are becoming or will become hearing-impaired or deaf, daily. It is important that those suffering from this condition be properly identified with a type of medical identification, such as a bracelet or an identification card in case of emergency.

Oftentimes, during an emergency situation, the hearing-impaired person (H-I-P) may not be able to speak or commutate, especially if they cannot hear or communicate clearly with the other person trying to find out necessary/critical information. He or she may also be unresponsive, and these situations of emergency may and do occur when a relative or friend is not around. In these cases, a hearing-impaired designation bracelet or ID card can silently inform the attending medical personnel of the disease or situation. Medical personnel will likely need to know whether the hearing impairment is new, or is an existing condition, so that they will be able to diagnose and treat correctly.

Some people with severe hearing loss or deafness may be fitted with a cochlear implant or hearing aids, which may have been knocked off or is otherwise not working — and the person simply cannot hear.

Preparing for an Emergency

Hearing impairment can be a difficult condition to have as it can make communication complicated even in less stressful times. Having a hearing-impaired designated ID card, bracelet, pendant, or charm will let a medical staff or responder know how best to communicate with you or your loved one(s) to make the appropriate decision that could save your life. Always ensure that your loved one is wearing a hearing-impaired ID bracelet or other jewelry and/or has plenty of hearing-impaired ID cards with him/her, or have some that are readily available before leaving the house. It will help getting the proper care you need and reduce the chance of serious medical consequences.

Hearing Impairment Medical ID Cards and Information

A hearing-impaired medical ID card is probably the last thing on anybody’s mind when dealing with hearing impairment. Its time has come. To some, bracelets, necklaces, and anklets may not seem to serve any purpose beyond being decorative, but when it comes to impairment, like the inability to hear, being identified as having a serious medical condition is necessary, and ID cards will work to accomplish such notification.

Taking Care that an Unnecessary Situation Doesn’t Happen

I am presenting actual examples of people, like you and me, who are making hearing loss visible by taking charge of their own lives. For your information, the idea and inspiration comes not only from me but from my own imagination and experience while in the hospital on March 27, 2016, for about a month, and illustrates why the Hearing ID is so important.

In the May/June 2016 issue of Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) there was a letter from  HLAA member, Mr. Kurfel of Fort Mill, South Carolina, who noted that an article by Richard Herring and Valerie Stafford-Mallis, in the January/February 2016 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, outlined some medical communication access strategies along the hearing-ID line for patients with hearing loss.

The writer notes that in a family matter in which he refers to as “adapting to a mundane but important event” involving his wife’s hip-replacement surgery — scheduled some weeks after the article by Herring and Mallis appeared — that he made sure all doctors and hospital staff knew of her and his hearing losses, and that they took the steps, before going to the hospital, of printing a few prototype business-sized notes that read in part: I have a hearing loss — Please talk to me face-to-face, so I can read your lips. The note was shown to doctors, nurses, reception staff, and anyone else at the hospital who helped him and his wife.

He now uses the card to alert people to his hearing loss and shows it to others passing by in the community, store clerks, doctors’ office staff, workmen who come to work at his house and anyone else he needs to communicate with, by simply showing them a card and notes that it takes 99 out of 100 people no more than a second to understand his needs, and they all are willing, in fact, happy to help him and presumably others.

He, like lessersound, is convinced of the benefit of taking the essential need, for people like him and me, to make our hearing loss visible to a new level, and he also thinks, like me, that many people “are or would be” glad for this creative step — also, down the road, to contribute ideas and new strategies that work for them and everyone.

In addition to H-I-P (hearing-impaired people) ID cards, we at lessersound believe that eventually an army of “we” H-I-P will be created, one person at a time, to make our hearing loss visible. I believe that it can be done by making this simple procedure of creating ID Cards to and for people who are willing to admit their hearing loss and/or his or her disability as we are trying to do here.

In some time or for some occasion, you could attach the card to a lanyard around your neck, or place it on a table in a restaurant, or even at a hospital, so that staff could know that hearing loss might be an issue in communication. For me, the challenge was being hospitalized with no staff around, day or night, or being advised that I was hearing-impaired, or being yelled at, at night, because I could not hear the staff when they did arrive.

We have some id cards available today, see them in the lessersound store on Zazzle.

Wayne Lesser – founder lessersound™

Comment (1)

  1. John Miller
    August 12, 2016 at 10:06 am · Reply


    Congratulations on one more vision becoming a reality! The blog incorporates many of the ideas you and I have discussed through the years and is very informative——-again, Congratulations!

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