The Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss on Health Care Results

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

Research shows that about 43% of patients over the age of 60 may be missing important health information as a result of hearing loss. Significant information, with regards to health care, could be missed due to hearing loss.

Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic

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

If we go further, we see that surprisingly only around 30% of those same senior citizens suffering from hearing loss have, or use, treatments that would improve their hearing. In terms of medical care, this is bad news.

With Health Care – Communication is Essential

One of the leading causes of death is medical error and miscommunication is a leading cause of medical error. A report from Harvard revealed that as many as 37% of serious injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been prevented 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 abstract and hard to get one’s head around so let’s consider some essential information you might miss when speaking with pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.

When it comes to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a key factor. Maybe they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They may tell you to stay away from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. Managing 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. You might not get the help that you require because you didn’t completely understand what your doctor was explaining.

There may be essential 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.

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

Why Communicating Medical Information is Especially Demanding

Putting medical information in the correct context is especially difficult. When you miss something because of your hearing loss, you make use of context to attempt to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something that your brain is actually rather good at. So good, as a matter of fact, that it could even convince you that you heard something you didn’t actually hear.

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

The slightest detail makes a big difference when it comes to medical care. Misunderstanding them has been shown to result in medical mistakes.

Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss

You could be missing vital medical advice if you have hearing loss. Now is the time to take the correct steps to save 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.