Research shows that about 43% of patients over the age of 60 may be missing crucial health information because of hearing loss. Important details, when it comes to health care, might be missed due to hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big issue. Debilitating hearing loss is a problem globally for around a third of individuals who are 65 or older.
But astoundingly, if we look a little closer we find that only 30% of those people with disabling hearing loss have taken measures to improve their situation. This trend isn’t good news for healthcare as we’ll illustrate next.
With Health Care – Communication is Essential
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 caused by medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have occurred if communication had been better. Lives could be saved if essential information could be better communicated with patients.
How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss
Statistics can seem a little fuzzy and intangible so let’s look at significant info you could miss when talking to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
With regards to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a crucial element. They might talk about what balanced levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. There are particular things that can be harmful if they are not handled in a way that your health care professional advises. You might be missing crucial pieces of advice that would help you manage your condition.
You may be in a situation where your medical provider informs you that you need medical attention. If you don’t comprehend fully what the physician is communicating, you could miss important warning signs and put off on getting assistance.
There may be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to warn you about. You think you heard everything but you miss an important detail and wind up hospitalized.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building regimen but warns you not to engage in a specific activity. You miss the recommendation and sustain a serious fall as a result.
Why Communicating Medical Details is Particularly Challenging
Discussing medical data is especially difficult because of a little thing known as context. When you suffer from hearing loss, you make use of context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Compensating for hearing loss is something that your brain is in fact pretty 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 seemingly insignificant as a “don’t” or “not” can completely change the meaning of a sentence. One number misunderstood could completely alter a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. When those little details are missed, it can lead to serious medical issues.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
If you have hearing loss, you may be missing essential medical advice. Now is the time to take the proper steps to save your hearing.