The Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss on Health Care Results

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

Research estimates 43% of patients over the age of 60 might be missing fundamental health information as a result of hearing loss. Significant details, with regards to health care, could be missed because of hearing loss.

Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic

Hearing loss isn’t a small problem. Disabling hearing loss is a problem globally for around a third of individuals who are 65 or older.

If we take it further, we find that surprisingly only about 30% of those same seniors suffering from hearing loss have, or make use of, solutions that would improve their hearing. This trend isn’t good news for medical care as we’ll demonstrate next.

With Medical Care – Communication is Essential

A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a leading cause of medical error. Up to 37% of serious injuries that were caused by medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have happened if communication had been stronger. An improved ability to communicate essential information with patients could save lives.

How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss

When you are speaking with pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some information you won’t want to miss so let’s not linger on statistics.

With regards to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a crucial element. Maybe they’re talking to you about healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They may tell you to abstain from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. You may be missing crucial pieces of advice that would help you manage your situation.

You may be in a situation where your physician notifies you that you require medical attention. You may not get the assistance that you need because you didn’t fully understand what your doctor was saying.

Your pharmacist might try to warn you about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You think you heard everything but you miss a critical detail and wind up in the hospital.

Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building routine but warns you not to engage in a specific activity. You might suffer a severe fall because you missed that advice.

Why Communicating Medical Information is Particularly Demanding

Taking medical information in the proper context is particularly challenging. When you suffer from hearing loss, you utilize context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is in fact really good at compensating for hearing loss. You might even come to think that you heard something that you actually didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.

With medical data something as small as a “don’t” or “not” can entirely change the meaning of a sentence. One number misunderstood could totally change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.

The slightest detail matters when it comes to medical care. Misunderstanding them has been shown to lead to medical mistakes.

Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed

You could be missing vital medical advice if you suffer from hearing loss. It’s time to deal with that and get your hearing back.

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.