The Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss on Health Care Outcomes

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

Important health information is missed by about 43% of patients who are 60 or older, as reported by recent studies. Important details, with regards to health care, might be missed because of hearing loss.

Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic

Hearing loss is a big problem. Globally, one third of people who are 65 or older have debilitating hearing loss.

If we go further, we see that shockingly 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 medical care as we’ll illustrate next.

With Medical Care – Communication is Key

Miscommunication is one of the major causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still a leading cause of death. A report from Harvard revealed that up to 37% of severe injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been prevented with better communication. Lives could be saved if crucial information could be better communicated with patients.

How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss

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

With regards to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a vital element. Maybe they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They might tell you to abstain from certain foods to prevent spikes in these numbers that can do you harm. Controlling your condition could get away from you if you miss crucial advice.

You may be in a situation where your medical provider informs you that you require medical attention. If you don’t understand completely what the physician is saying, you may miss essential warning signs and delay getting assistance.

There might be essential details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to warn you about. You believe you heard everything but you lose an important detail and end up in the hospital.

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 Data

Putting medical information in the correct context is particularly difficult. When you have hearing loss, you utilize context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is in fact really good at compensating for hearing loss. So good, in fact, that it could even convince you that you heard something you didn’t really hear.

With medical information something as small as a “don’t” or “not” can totally change the meaning of a sentence. One number misunderstood could totally change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.

In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. When those little details are missed, it can produce severe medical problems.

Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed

If you have hearing loss, you might be missing essential medical advice. 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.