Important health information is missed by an estimated 43% of patients over the age of 60, based on recent studies. Significant details, regarding health care, might be missed due to hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big issue. Debilitating hearing loss is an issue worldwide for about a third of people who are 65 or older.
If we take it further, we discover that shockingly only around 30% of those same seniors suffering from hearing loss have, or make use of, solutions that would improve their hearing. This trend isn’t good news for medical care as we’ll illustrate next.
The Importance of Communication in Health Care
One of the leading causes of death is medical error and miscommunication is a major cause of medical error. Up to 37% of severe injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have happened if communication had been better. An enhanced ability to communicate crucial information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care
When you are speaking with pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some information you won’t want to miss so let’s not dwell on statistics.
Doctors and nurses advise you regarding certain health objectives. They may explain what balanced levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They may tell you to abstain from certain foods to prevent spikes in these numbers that can do you harm. You could be missing important pieces of advice that would help you manage your situation.
You may be in a situation where your doctor informs you that you need medical attention. If you don’t comprehend completely what the doctor is communicating, you might miss important warning signs and delay getting assistance.
There may be essential details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is attempting to warn you about. You think you heard everything but you lose an important detail and end up in the hospital.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building program but warns you not to engage in a particular activity. You miss the recommendation and suffer a serious fall as a result.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Particularly Challenging
Taking medical data in the correct context is especially challenging. When you have hearing loss, you use context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is in fact really good at compensating for hearing loss. You might even come to believe that you heard something that you really didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
The meaning of a sentence can be entirely changed, when dealing with medical information, with something as simple as a “don’t” or “not”. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, might be
totally changed with one missed number.
In medical care the slightest details make a big difference. Misunderstanding them has been shown to result in medical mistakes.
Getting Help For Hearing Loss
If you have hearing loss, you could be missing vital medical advice. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to conserve your hearing.