University of São Paulo: Public patients with hearing loss can count on the HC rehabilitation program

The Reouvir Program provides hearing aids for patients referred by the Central System for Regulation of Health Services Offers (Cross). The referral takes place soon after the doctor at the health center finds the cause of deafness, the situations that can worsen the hearing loss and the audiological diagnosis. The program’s coordinator, Mara Gândara, linked to the Division of Otorhinolaryngology at the Hospital das Clínicas, Faculty of Medicine, USP (HCFMUSP), describes its operation in an interview with Jornal da USP in Ar 1st Edition .

With more than 25,000 patients benefited over two years, the hearing rehabilitation program with a sound amplification device serves patients from public health units. “Sometimes patients take time to recognize their own deafness, usually friends and family who notice it, however, it is necessary to identify it as soon as possible. The longer the time of deafness, the worse the recovery”, says Mara.

“At Hospital das Clínicas (HC), we provide care from children aged 6 months to seniors aged 107 years, with various types of hearing loss”, comments the specialist. There are several reasons for the individual to become deaf, it can occur during pregnancy, childbirth, according to age or very loud noises throughout life.

How the Reouvir Program works

The teacher explains that the Department of Health maps and schedules these patients through the Cross system. They are forwarded to the service closest to their residence. Afterwards, the appointment is made by the health unit itself and the Reouvir team receives the patient and starts the selection process. The individual who does not have clinical or surgical treatment should receive the individual sound amplification device according to the specifics of his deafness. “We need to receive the etiological diagnosis (what caused the deafness) and audiological diagnosis (his hearing level) from the doctor. At the HC, the patient undergoes a medical consultation, then undergoes an audiometry, there is also the verification of his documentation and guidance on what a hearing aid is and how it works.”

After this procedure, the person will test and adapt to the device. It is very important to have family support at this stage, as the individual is not used to loud sounds and becomes uncomfortable. This adaptation period is called “acclimatization” and training with a speech therapist helps at this stage, but sometimes the individual has no money, the SUS only pays for the device, according to Mara.

The Reouvir team carries out the consultation two months after the device is delivered to adjust it and one year later an audiometry is performed to find out how much the patient is adapted and satisfied. It also goes back to the home doctor every four months for cleaning, as the wax clogs and doesn’t let sound pass freely. The program also reviews the adjustment for monitoring and is responsible for changing the mold, as there is a different size for each age.

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