Research shows that about 43% of patients over the age of 60 may be missing important health information due to hearing loss. At a time when following medical advice is so crucial, patients may be missing major details related to their care.
There is a Global Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big issue. Debilitating hearing loss is a problem worldwide for about a third of people over 65.
But surprisingly, if we go a little deeper we discover that only 30% of those people who suffer from debilitating hearing loss have taken steps to better their situation. This trend isn’t good news for medical care as we’ll demonstrate 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 severe injuries that were caused by medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have occurred if communication had been stronger. An improved ability to communicate important information with patients could save lives.
How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss
When you are talking to pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some information you won’t want to miss so let’s not dwell on statistics.
With regards to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a key factor. Perhaps they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They might tell you to stay away from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. You might be missing important pieces of advice that would help you handle your situation.
These medical providers may explain danger zones that indicate that you require medical care. If you don’t understand fully what the physician is communicating, you could miss crucial warning signs and put off on getting assistance.
There might be crucial details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is attempting to warn you about. You believe you heard everything but you lose an important detail and wind up hospitalized.
Your physical therapist gets you started with a strength-building regimen but warns you against a certain activity. You miss the recommendation and suffer a serious fall as a result.
It’s Especially Difficult to Talk About Medical Information
Discussing medical information is particularly difficult because of a little thing called context. When you have hearing loss, you utilize context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is actually really good at compensating for hearing loss. You might even come to believe that you heard something that you actually didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
The meaning of a sentence can be totally altered, when dealing with medical information, with something as basic as a “don’t” or “not”. One number misunderstood could completely change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
The smallest detail matters when it comes to medical care. When those little details are missed, it can lead to serious medical problems.
Getting Help For Hearing Loss
You could be missing vital medical advice if you have hearing loss. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to save your hearing.