Hearing Loss, Deafness, and the Hard-of-Hearing

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) encourages all family physicians to become knowledgeable about prevention, evaluation and treatment of deafness and hearing loss in patients of all ages. The AAFP recommends the following:

  • Counsel patients to prevent all forms of hearing loss.
  • Refer patients who are deaf and hard of hearing for hearing assistive devices and hearing-ear dogs, if desired.
  • Ask patients who are deaf or hard-of-hearing their preferred method of communication.
  • Provide American Sign Language (ASL)-fluent interpreters experienced in medical interpretation, if requested, available, and financially feasible. To ensure clear and complete communication, an ASL interpreter is preferable to a family member interpreting for a patient.
  • Provide a means of booking appointments and accessing private health information through appropriate language assistance and accommodations.
  • Provide visual aids and online resources to facilitate patient education.

(1988) (2018 COD)