Research estimates 43% of patients over the age of 60 may be missing fundamental health information due to hearing loss. Major details, regarding health care, might be missed because of hearing loss.
There is a Global Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big problem. Worldwide, a third of people over the age of 65 have debilitating hearing loss.
If we delve further, we discover that surprisingly only around 30% of those same senior citizens who suffer with hearing loss have, or make use of, treatments that would improve their hearing. When it comes to medical care, this is bad news.
The Significance of Communication in Health Care
Miscommunication is one of the leading causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still one of the leading causes of death. A study from Harvard revealed that as many as 37% of serious injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been prevented with better communication. An improved ability to communicate essential information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Impacts Medical Care
Statistics can be a bit fuzzy and hard to get one’s head around so let’s consider some essential info you might miss when speaking with pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.
When it comes to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a key factor. They might explain what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They might tell you to avoid certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. Handling your condition could get away from you if you miss important advice.
You may be in a situation where your doctor informs you that you require medical attention. You may not get the help that you require because you didn’t fully comprehend what your doctor was saying.
There may be essential details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to make you aware of. You could end up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard everything but you didn’t.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building routine but warns you not to engage in a particular activity. You miss the recommendation and suffer a serious fall as a result.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Especially Challenging
Communicating medical information is especially tough because of a little thing called context. When you have hearing loss, you make use of context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is actually very good at compensating for hearing loss. So good, in fact, that it might even make you believe that you heard something you didn’t really hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be completely altered, when dealing with 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.
In medical care the slightest details make a big difference. Misunderstanding them has been shown to lead to medical mistakes.
Having Your Hearing Loss Treated
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you could be missing essential medical advice. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to save your hearing.