Research estimates 43% of patients over the age of 60 may be missing fundamental health information because of hearing loss. Important details, with regards to health care, might be missed because of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small matter. Disabling hearing loss is an issue globally for around a third of people who are 65 or older.
But astoundingly, if we go a little deeper we discover that only 30% of those people with disabling hearing loss have taken steps to better their situation. This trend isn’t good news for medical care as we’ll show next.
The Importance 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. A study from Harvard demonstrated that up to 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been avoided with better communication. An improved ability to communicate important information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Impacts Medical Care
Statistics can seem a bit fuzzy and hard to get one’s head around so let’s look at significant information you might miss when talking to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
When it comes to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a crucial factor. Maybe they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They might tell you to stay away from certain foods to prevent spikes in these numbers that can be harmful. Controlling your condition could get away from you if you miss essential advice.
You might be in a situation where your medical provider informs you that you need medical care. You may not get the help that you need because you didn’t completely understand what your doctor was explaining.
Your pharmacist could try to warn you about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You think you heard everything but you lose an important detail and wind up hospitalized.
Maybe you get a warning about some hazardous activity from your physical therapist. You could suffer a serious fall because you missed that recommendation.
Why discussing Medical Information is Especially Demanding
Taking medical data in the correct context is especially difficult. When you miss some piece of information due to your hearing loss, you make use of context to attempt to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something your brain is actually 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 information something as small as a “don’t” or “not” can totally alter the meaning of a sentence. One number misunderstood could totally change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the slightest details matter. Missing them has been shown to result in medical errors.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you may be missing needed medical advice. It’s time to deal with that and get your hearing back.