Older people with hearing loss appear more likely to experience difficulties after having surgery.
New Study Shows Surgery Risk for Patients with Hearing Loss
A study published earlier this year examined whether older patients with hearing loss who underwent surgery were at a greater risk of postsurgical complications.
To determine this, researchers looked at the health records of patients 65 and older who had undergone surgery between 2014 and 2017 and received an audiometric evaluation before surgery. They found that:
- Patients who had hearing loss were more likely to develop postoperative complications compared to those with normal hearing.
- Every 10 dB increase in hearing loss was associated with a 14% increase in the odds of developing a postoperative complication.
Communicate Your Needs During Hospital Stays
While researchers did not speculate as to why hearing loss appeared to be a risk factor for postoperative complications, it is possible that difficulty in communication may play a role.
Hospitals can be a stressful and loud environment, which can make it harder to hear what’s being said. However, it’s also crucial to be able to understand when doctors, nurses and other medical professionals ask you questions or give you important information regarding your health.
In order to make communication in the hospital easier you can:
- Bring your hearing aids and any needed accessories, like extra batteries or a case to store your device.
- Tell all hospital staff that you have trouble hearing so that they can speak louder and check to make sure you heard everything that was said.
- Consider downloading a captioning or transcribing app onto your phone.
- Try to have a family member or trusted friend with normal hearing be present for all important conversations so that they can help keep track of what was said.
Keep an Eye Out for Early Signs of Hearing Loss
The sooner you become aware of your hearing loss and are able to treat it, the better. Because hearing loss comes on gradually, it’s important to be aware of the early signs so that you can schedule a hearing test if you notice any problems.
Early signs of hearing loss include:
- People often sound like they are mumbling
- You need to turn up the volume louder on the TV or radio than others do
- It’s difficult to follow conversations in places with background noise or multiple voices talking at once such as Rooftop Restaurant & Bar
- Others have made comments to you about your hearing
If you are concerned about your hearing health, call Valley Audiology today to schedule an appointment.