The Effects of Neglected Hearing Loss on Health Care Outcomes

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Research estimates 43% of patients over the age of 60 may be missing important health information due to hearing loss. Major details, with regards to health care, could be missed because of hearing loss.

Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic

Hearing loss isn’t a small matter. Globally, one third of individuals who are 65 or older have debilitating hearing loss.

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

The Value of Communication in Medical Care

A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a primary cause of medical error. A report from Harvard revealed that up to 37% of severe injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been avoided with better communication. An improved ability to communicate crucial information with patients could save lives.

How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss

Statistics can be a little fuzzy and hard to get one’s head around so let’s consider some essential info you could miss when talking to pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.

With regards to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a vital element. They may explain what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. There are some things that can harm you if they are not controlled in a way that your health care professional recommends. Managing your condition could get away from you if you miss important advice.

You might be in a situation where your medical provider lets you know that you need medical attention. You might not get the help that you require because you didn’t fully comprehend what your doctor was explaining.

Your pharmacist may try to give you a warning about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You could wind up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard everything but you didn’t.

Maybe you get a warning about some dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the advice and suffer a serious fall as a result.

It’s Especially Difficult to Communicate Medical Information

Communicating medical data is particularly tough because of a little thing called context. When you suffer from hearing loss, you utilize context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is actually really good at compensating for hearing loss. You may even come to believe that you heard something that you really didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.

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

In medical care the slightest details matter. When those small details are missed, it can produce serious medical problems.

Getting Help For Hearing Loss

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

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