The Effects of Neglected Hearing Loss on Health Care Results

Man hospitalized from a fall related to his untreated hearing loss.

Research shows that about 43% of patients over 60 might be missing fundamental health information due to hearing loss. Important information, with regards to health care, could be missed due to hearing loss.

Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic

Hearing loss is a major problem. Globally, a third of individuals who are 65 or older have debilitating hearing loss.

If we delve further, we find that shockingly only about 30% of those same senior citizens suffering from hearing loss have, or use, treatments that would improve their hearing. When it comes to medical care, this isn’t good news.

With Medical Care – Communication is Essential

A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a major cause of medical error. As many as 37% of serious injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, would not have occurred if communication had been stronger. An improved ability to communicate crucial information with patients could save lives.

How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care

Statistics can be a little abstract and intangible so let’s consider some significant information you might miss when speaking with pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.

With regards to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a crucial element. Perhaps they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They might tell you to abstain from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. Managing your condition could get away from you if you miss important advice.

These medical providers may explain danger zones that indicate that you require medical care. You may not get the assistance that you need because you didn’t fully comprehend what your doctor was saying.

Your pharmacist could try to give you a warning about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You believe you heard everything but you miss a critical detail and end up hospitalized.

Your physical therapist gets you started with a strength-building routine but warns you against a certain activity. You might suffer a serious fall because you missed that recommendation.

Why Communicating Medical Details is Especially Demanding

Discussing medical information is particularly challenging because of a little thing called context. When you have hearing loss, you utilize context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is actually very good at compensating for hearing loss. You might even come to believe that you heard something that you really didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.

With medical data something as small as a “don’t” or “not” can totally alter the meaning of a sentence. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, could be
completely changed with one missed number.

In medical care the slightest details make a big difference. Missing them has been shown to result in medical errors.

Having Your Hearing Loss Treated

You could be missing essential medical advice if you have hearing loss. Now is the time to take the correct steps to conserve your hearing.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.