The Effects of Neglected Hearing Loss on Health Care Outcomes


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

Research estimates 43% of patients over 60 might be missing fundamental health information as a result of hearing loss. Significant information, when it comes to health care, might be missed because of hearing loss.

Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic

Hearing loss isn’t a small matter. Debilitating hearing loss is a problem worldwide for around a third of people who are 65 or older.

If we go further, we find that surprisingly only around 30% of those same seniors who suffer with hearing loss have, or make use of, treatments that would improve their hearing. When it comes to medical care, this isn’t good news.

With Health Care – Communication is Key

Miscommunication is one of the major causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still one of the leading causes of death. As many as 37% of serious injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have happened if communication had been stronger. Lives could be saved if crucial information could be better communicated with patients.

How Hearing Loss Impacts Medical Care

Statistics can be a bit abstract and hard to get one’s head around so let’s consider some important information you could miss when speaking with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.

Doctors and nurses work with you regarding particular health objectives. They might talk about what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They may tell you to abstain from certain foods to prevent spikes in these numbers that can do you harm. You may be missing essential pieces of advice that would help you handle your condition.

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 understand what your doctor was explaining.

There might be crucial details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to make you aware of. You could end up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard everything but you didn’t.

Maybe 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 Challenging to Talk About Medical Data

Putting medical information in the proper context is especially challenging. When you suffer from 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. So good, actually, that it might even convince you that you heard something you didn’t truly hear.

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

The slightest detail makes a big difference when it comes to medical care. When those small details are missed, it can result in serious medical issues.

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.

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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.

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