The Effects of Neglected Hearing Loss on Health Care Results

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

Essential health information is missed by an estimated 43% of patients who are 60 or older, as reported by recent research. Major information, when it comes to health care, might be missed due to hearing loss.

There is a Worldwide Hearing Epidemic

Hearing loss isn’t a small situation. Disabling hearing loss is an issue globally for about a third of people over 65.

But shockingly, if we go a little deeper we discover that only 30% of those people who have debilitating hearing loss have taken measures to better their situation. In terms of medical care, this is bad news.

With Medical Care – Communication is Key

A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a leading cause of medical error. A study from Harvard demonstrated that as many as 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been avoided with better communication. 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 info you could miss when talking to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.

Doctors and nurses work with you regarding particular health goals. Perhaps they’re talking to you about healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They might tell you to stay away from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. You might be missing essential pieces of advice that would help you manage your situation.

You might be in a situation where your medical provider lets you know that you need medical care. If you don’t comprehend fully what the physician is communicating, you could miss significant warning signs and put off on getting help.

Your pharmacist might try to give you a warning about dangerous side effects or drug interactions. You could end up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard all the information but you didn’t.

Perhaps you receive a warning about some dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the advice and sustain a serious fall as a result.

It’s Especially Difficult to Communicate Medical Information

Communicating medical information is particularly challenging because of a little thing called context. When you suffer from hearing loss, you use context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Compensating for hearing loss is something your brain is in fact rather good at. So good, in fact, that it might even convince you that you heard something you didn’t actually hear.

The meaning of a sentence can be totally altered, when addressing medical information, with something as simple as a “don’t” or “not”. One misunderstood number could totally change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.

The slightest detail makes a big difference when it comes to medical care. Misunderstanding them has been shown to result in medical mistakes.

Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed

If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you might be missing important medical advice. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to save 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.