Health Care Outcomes Are Significantly Affected by Neglected Hearing Loss

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

Research shows that about 43% of patients over 60 might be missing crucial health information because of hearing loss. Important information, when it comes to health care, could be missed because of hearing loss.

There is a Worldwide Hearing Epidemic

Hearing loss is a major issue. Worldwide, one third of people who are 65 or older have debilitating hearing loss.

But shockingly, if we look a little closer we find that only 30% of those people who have disabling hearing loss have taken measures to improve their situation. This pattern isn’t good news for healthcare as we’ll demonstrate next.

With Medical Care – Communication is Crucial

Miscommunication is one of the leading causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still a leading cause of death. A study from Harvard demonstrated that up to 37% of serious injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been avoided with improved communication. An enhanced ability to communicate important information with patients could save lives.

How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care

Statistics can seem a bit fuzzy and intangible so let’s consider some important information you could miss when speaking with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.

When it comes to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a key element. Maybe they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are certain things that can be harmful if they are not handled in a way that your health care professional suggests. Dealing with your condition could become a problem if you miss important advice.

You might be in a situation where your physician informs you that you require medical attention. If you don’t understand completely what the physician is saying, you might miss important warning signs and put off on getting assistance.

There may be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to make you aware of. You believe you heard everything but you miss an important detail and wind up in the hospital.

Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building routine but warns you against a certain activity. You miss the recommendation and suffer a serious fall as a result.

Why discussing Medical Information is Especially Challenging

Taking medical information in the correct context is especially challenging. When you miss something because of your hearing loss, you use context to attempt to fill in what you missed. Your brain is in fact really good at compensating for hearing loss. You might even come to believe that you heard something that you actually didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.

With medical information something as seemingly insignificant as a “don’t” or “not” can entirely change the meaning of a sentence. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, might be
totally changed with one missed number.

In medical care the smallest details matter. When those small details are missed, it can lead to severe medical problems.

Having Your Hearing Loss Treated

You could be missing crucial medical advice if you suffer from 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.