Research estimates 43% of patients over 60 might be missing fundamental health information due to hearing loss. Important information, regarding health care, could be missed because of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big issue. Debilitating hearing loss is a problem worldwide for around a third of individuals who are 65 or older.
If we go further, we see that surprisingly only about 30% of those same senior citizens suffering from hearing loss have, or make use of, treatments that would benefit their hearing. This pattern isn’t good news for medical care as we’ll show next.
The Significance of Communication in Medical Care
One of the leading causes of death is medical error and miscommunication is a major cause of medical error. A study from Harvard demonstrated that as many as 37% of serious injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been prevented with better communication. Lives could be saved if important information could be better communicated with patients.
How Medical Care is Affected by Hearing Loss
When you are talking to pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some info 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 healthy 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 be harmful. You may be missing crucial pieces of advice that would help you handle your condition.
These medical providers may explain danger zones that reveal that you require medical care. If you don’t understand completely what the doctor is saying, you might miss essential warning signs and put off on getting assistance.
Your pharmacist could try to give you a warning about dangerous side effects or drug interactions. You think you heard everything but you lose a critical detail and wind up hospitalized.
Maybe you get a warning about some hazardous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the recommendation and suffer a serious fall as a result.
It’s Particularly Challenging to Communicate Medical Data
Taking medical information in the proper context is particularly difficult. When you miss some piece of information as a result of your hearing loss, you make use of context to try to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something your brain is actually rather good at. You might even come to think that you heard something that you actually didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
With medical data something as small as a “don’t” or “not” can completely alter the meaning of a sentence. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, could be
completely altered with one missed number.
The smallest detail matters when it comes to medical care. Missing them has been shown to lead to medical errors.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you may be missing essential medical advice. It’s time to do something about that and get your hearing back.