Gilberts Audiology & Hearing Aid Center - Oklahoma

Female doctor communicating with older man who has hearing loss in wheelchair examining reports at the hospital corridor.

Tom is getting a brand new knee and he’s super pumped! Look, as you get older, the kinds of things you look forward to change. He will be able to move moving around more easily and will have less pain with his new knee. So Tom is admitted, the operation is successful, and Tom goes home!

That’s when things go wrong.

The knee doesn’t heal properly. An infection sets in, and Tom winds up back in the hospital for another knee surgery. Tom is not as excited by this point. As the nurses and doctors try to figure out what occurred, it becomes evident that Tom wasn’t following his recovery instructions.

So here’s the thing: it isn’t that Tom didn’t want to observe those recovery instructions. The issue is that he didn’t hear them. Tom can take some comfort in the fact that he isn’t alone: there’s a strong connection between hearing loss and hospital visits.

More hospital visits can be the consequence of hearing loss

By now, you’re most likely acquainted with the typical drawbacks of hearing loss: you tend to socially isolate yourself, causing you to become more distant from friends and loved ones, and you raise your danger of developing dementia. But we’re finally beginning to comprehend some of the less apparent drawbacks to hearing loss.

One of those relationships that’s becoming more clear is that hearing loss can result in an increase in emergency room trips. Individuals who struggle with untreated hearing loss have a greater risk of taking a trip to the emergency room by 17% and will be 44% more likely to need to be readmitted later, according to one study.

What’s the link?

This could be the situation for a couple of reasons.

  • Your situational awareness can be affected negatively by neglected hearing loss. Anything from a stubbed toe to a car accident will be more likely to happen if you aren’t aware of what’s around you. These types of injuries can, obviously, land you in the hospital (if you stub your toe hard enough).
  • Once you’re in the hospital, your potential of readmission goes up considerably. Readmission occurs when you’re discharged from the hospital, spend some time at home, and then have to go back to the hospital. Sometimes this happens because a complication occurs. Readmission can also happen because the original issue wasn’t correctly managed or even from a new problem.

Risk of readmission is increased

Why is readmission more likely for people who have neglected hearing loss? There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • If you have untreated hearing loss, you might not be able to hear the instructions that your nurses and doctors give you. You won’t be able to properly do your physical therapy, for instance, if you fail to hear the instructions from your physical therapist. Whether you’re still in the hospital or at home, your recovery period could be greatly increased.
  • If you can’t hear your recovery instructions, you won’t know how to care for yourself as you recover at home. If you’re unable to hear the instructions (and particularly if you don’t know you aren’t hearing your instructions properly), you’re more likely to reinjure yourself.

Let’s say, for instance, you’ve recently undergone surgery to replace your knee. Perhaps you’re not supposed to take a shower for three weeks but you thought your doctor said three days. Now your wound is at risk of getting a severe infection (one that could put you back at the hospital).

Keeping track of your hearing aids

At first glance, the answer here might seem simple: you just need to wear your hearing aids! Unfortunately, hearing loss usually develops very gradually, and people with hearing loss might not always realize they are feeling its effects. The solution here is to schedule a hearing test with us.

Even after you’ve taken the steps and invested in a pair of hearing aids, there’s still the possibility of losing them. It’s frequently a chaotic scene when you need to go in for a hospital stay. So the probability of losing your hearing aid is absolutely present. You will be better able to stay involved in your care when you’re in the hospital if you know how to handle your hearing aid.

Tips for preparing for a hospital stay when you have hearing loss

Knowing how to get ready for a hospital stay when you have hearing loss can avert a lot of headaches (and other discomfort) in the future. Here are a number of basic things you can do:

  • Keep your eye on your battery’s charge. Keep your hearing aid charged and bring spares if needed.
  • Wear your hearing aids whenever you can, and when you aren’t wearing them, make certain to keep them in the case.
  • Take your case with you. It’s very important to have a case for your hearing aids. They will be able to be better taken care of that way.
  • Communicate to hospital staff about your hearing loss. Miscommunication will be less likely if they are well informed about your situation.
  • In a hospital setting, you should always advocate for yourself and ask your loved ones to advocate for you.

The trick here is to communicate with the hospital at every stage. Your doctors and nurses should be made aware of your hearing loss.

Hearing is a health issue

So maybe it’s time to stop thinking of hearing health and your overall wellness as two completely different things. After all your general health can be significantly impacted by your hearing. Hearing loss is like any other health issue in that it needs to be addressed right away.

The power to avoid Tom’s fate is in your hands. The next time you find yourself in the hospital, make certain your hearing aids are nearby.

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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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