The Effects of Neglected Hearing Loss on Health Care Results


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

Significant health information is missed by an estimated 43% of patients over the age of 60, as reported by recent research. At a time when heeding medical guidance is so important, patients may be missing important details about their care.

There is a Worldwide Hearing Epidemic

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

If we take it further, we discover that surprisingly only about 30% of those same senior citizens suffering from hearing loss have, or make use of, solutions that would benefit their hearing. This pattern isn’t good news for healthcare as we’ll demonstrate next.

With Health Care – Communication is Key

A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a leading cause of medical error. A report from Harvard showed that up to 37% of severe injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been avoided with improved communication. Lives could be saved if crucial information could be better communicated with patients.

How Hearing Loss Effects 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 pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.

When it comes to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a crucial element. They might explain what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They may tell you to avoid certain foods to prevent spikes in these numbers that can do you harm. You may be missing crucial pieces of advice that would help you manage your condition.

These medical professionals may explain danger zones that indicate that you need medical care. If you don’t comprehend completely what the physician is communicating, you could miss essential warning signs and put off on getting help.

There may be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is attempting to make you aware of. You believe you heard everything but you lose a critical detail and end up hospitalized.

Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building regimen but warns you not to engage in a certain activity. You miss the advice and sustain a serious fall as a result.

Why Communicating Medical Information is Especially Demanding

Discussing medical information is particularly difficult 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. Your brain is actually really good at compensating for hearing loss. So good, in fact, that it might even make you believe that you heard something you didn’t really hear.

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

In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. Misunderstanding them has been shown to lead to medical mistakes.

Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed

If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you could be missing vital medical advice. Now is the time to take the correct steps to save your hearing.

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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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