The Effects of Neglected Hearing Loss on Health Care Outcomes

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

Significant health information is missed by around 43% of patients who are 60 or older, as reported by recent studies. Significant details, regarding health care, might be missed because of hearing loss.

There is a Global Hearing Epidemic

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

If we go further, we find that shockingly only around 30% of those same senior citizens suffering from hearing loss have, or use, solutions that would benefit their hearing. This trend isn’t good news for healthcare as we’ll show next.

The Value of Communication in Medical Care

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

How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss

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

Doctors and nurses advise you regarding particular health objectives. Perhaps they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They may tell you to avoid certain foods to prevent spikes in these numbers that can do you harm. Dealing with your condition could get away from you if you miss essential advice.

You may be in a situation where your medical provider notifies you that you need medical attention. If you don’t understand fully what the physician is communicating, you could miss essential warning signs and put off on getting help.

Your pharmacist might try to warn you about dangerous side effects or drug interactions. You could wind up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard all the information but you didn’t.

Your physical therapist gets you started with a strength-building program but warns you against a specific activity. You might suffer a serious fall because you missed that advice.

Why Communicating Medical Details is Especially Demanding

Taking medical information in the proper context is particularly challenging. When you miss something because of your hearing loss, you make use of context to attempt to fill in what you missed. Your brain is actually 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. One number misunderstood could totally alter a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.

The smallest detail matters when it comes to medical care. When those little details are missed, it can lead to serious medical issues.

Getting Help For Hearing Loss

You could be missing essential 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.