Research estimates 43% of patients over the age of 60 might be missing important health information due to hearing loss. Major details, with regards to health care, could be missed because of hearing loss.
There is a Worldwide Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major problem. Debilitating hearing loss is a problem worldwide for around a third of individuals who are 65 or older.
But surprisingly, if we go a little deeper we discover that only 30% of those people who have debilitating hearing loss have taken steps to better their situation. In terms of medical care, this is bad news.
The Significance of Communication in Medical Care
One of the leading causes of death is medical error and miscommunication is a leading cause of medical error. A study from Harvard showed that up to 37% of serious injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been avoided with improved communication. Lives could be saved if crucial information could be better communicated with patients.
How Medical Care is Affected by Hearing Loss
When you are speaking with pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some info you won’t want to miss so let’s not linger on statistics.
When it comes to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a vital factor. They may explain what balanced levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They may tell you to stay away from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. Managing your condition could get away from you if you miss essential advice.
These medical providers might explain danger zones that indicate that you require medical care. If you don’t understand completely what the physician is communicating, you may miss crucial warning signs and put off on getting help.
Your pharmacist might try to warn you about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You think you heard everything but you miss a critical detail and end up hospitalized.
Maybe you receive a warning against doing some dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the advice and sustain a serious fall as a result.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Especially Challenging
Taking medical data in the correct context is especially challenging. When you miss some piece of information because of your hearing loss, you make use of context to attempt to fill in what you missed. Your brain is in fact very good at compensating for hearing loss. You may even come to believe that you heard something that you actually didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
With medical information something as small as a “don’t” or “not” can totally change the meaning of a sentence. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, could be
completely changed with one missed number.
The slightest detail matters when it comes to medical care. Misunderstanding them has been shown to result in medical errors.
Having Your Hearing Loss Treated
You could be missing essential medical advice if you suffer from hearing loss. It’s time to do something about that and get your hearing back.