Research shows that about 43% of patients over the age of 60 may be missing crucial health information due to hearing loss. Important information, with regards to health care, might be missed because of hearing loss.
There is a Global Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small situation. Debilitating hearing loss is an issue worldwide for around a third of people who are 65 or older.
If we delve further, we see that surprisingly only about 30% of those same senior citizens suffering from hearing loss have, or use, solutions that would improve their hearing. In terms of medical care, this isn’t good news.
The Value 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. As many as 37% of severe injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, would not have occurred if communication had been better. An improved ability to communicate essential information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Impacts Medical Care
Statistics can seem a little abstract and hard to get one’s head around so let’s look at important info you could miss when talking to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
Doctors and nurses advise you regarding certain health objectives. 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 recommends. You may be missing essential pieces of advice that would help you manage your situation.
You may be in a situation where your physician informs you that you require medical attention. If you don’t understand completely what the doctor is communicating, you might miss crucial warning signs and put off on getting assistance.
Your pharmacist might try to give you a warning about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You think you heard everything but you miss a critical detail and wind up hospitalized.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building regimen but warns you not to engage in a particular activity. You might suffer a serious fall because you missed that advice.
Why Communicating Medical Details is Particularly Demanding
Putting medical data in the proper context is especially challenging. When you miss some piece of information as a result of your hearing loss, you use context to try to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something your brain is in fact pretty good at. You might 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 entirely change the meaning of a sentence. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, might be
entirely altered with one missed number.
In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. When those small details are missed, it can result in severe medical issues.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
You could be missing crucial medical advice if you have hearing loss. It’s time to deal with that and get your hearing back.