Research shows that about 43% of patients over 60 might be missing fundamental health information as a result of hearing loss. At a time when following medical advice is so important, patients could be missing important details about their care.
There is a Worldwide Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small matter. Worldwide, a third of people who are 65 or older have disabling hearing loss.
If we delve further, we discover that surprisingly only around 30% of those same senior citizens who suffer with hearing loss have, or make use of, treatments that would benefit their hearing. In terms of medical care, this is bad news.
The Importance of Communication in Medical Care
Miscommunication is one of the leading causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still a leading cause of death. Up to 37% of serious injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, would not have occurred if communication had been stronger. An enhanced ability to communicate crucial information with patients could save lives.
How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss
Statistics can be a bit abstract and hard to get one’s head around so let’s look at significant info you could miss when talking to pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.
With regards to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a vital factor. They might explain what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. There are particular things that can harm you if they are not managed in a way that your health care professional recommends. You may be missing crucial pieces of advice that would help you handle your situation.
You might be in a situation where your physician lets you know that you require medical care. You may not get the assistance that you require because you didn’t fully understand what your doctor was explaining.
Your pharmacist could try to warn you about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You think you heard everything but you miss an important detail and end up hospitalized.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building routine but warns you against a particular activity. You might suffer a severe fall because you missed that recommendation.
Why Communicating Medical Details is Particularly Demanding
Discussing medical data is especially challenging because of a little thing called context. When you miss some piece of information because of your hearing loss, you use context to attempt to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something that your brain is actually pretty good at. So good, as a matter of fact, that it may even convince you that you heard something you didn’t truly hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be entirely changed, when addressing medical information, with something as simple as a “don’t” or “not”. One misunderstood number could completely change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the slightest details matter. Missing them has been shown to result in medical mistakes.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you could be missing needed medical advice. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to save your hearing.