Research estimates 43% of patients over 60 might be missing fundamental health information as a result of hearing loss. At a time when following medical guidance is so crucial, patients might be missing major details about their care.
Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big problem. Globally, one third of people who are 65 or older have disabling hearing loss.
But shockingly, if we look a little closer we discover that only 30% of those people who have debilitating hearing loss have taken steps to improve their situation. In terms of medical care, this is bad news.
The Value of Communication in Health Care
Miscommunication is one of the major causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still one of the leading causes of death. Up to 37% of serious injuries that were a result of 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 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.
Doctors and nurses work with you regarding specific health goals. Perhaps they’re talking to you about healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are particular things that can be harmful if they are not handled in a way that your health care professional suggests. You might be missing essential pieces of advice that would help you handle your situation.
These medical professionals may explain danger zones that indicate that you require medical care. You might not get the assistance that you require because you didn’t fully comprehend what your doctor was saying.
Your pharmacist may try to give you a warning about dangerous side effects or drug interactions. You could end up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard everything but you didn’t.
Perhaps you get a warning against doing some hazardous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the recommendation and suffer a serious fall as a result.
Why discussing Medical Information is Especially Demanding
Communicating medical data is especially difficult because of a little thing called context. When you miss something as a result of your hearing loss, you make use of context to attempt to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something that your brain is actually rather good at. So good, actually, that it could even make you believe that you heard something you didn’t actually hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be entirely changed, when addressing medical information, with something as basic as a “don’t” or “not”. One misunderstood number could completely alter a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
The slightest detail makes a big difference when it comes to medical care. Missing them has been shown to lead to medical mistakes.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
If you have hearing loss, you might be missing vital medical advice. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to conserve your hearing.