Essential health information is missed by around 43% of patients over the age of 60, based on recent research. Significant details, when it comes to health care, might be missed because of hearing loss.
There is a Worldwide Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small issue. Disabling hearing loss is a problem globally for around a third of people who are 65 or older.
If we go further, we find that surprisingly only around 30% of those same senior citizens suffering from hearing loss have, or make use of, 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 one of the leading causes of death. A report from Harvard revealed that up to 37% of serious injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been prevented with improved communication. An enhanced ability to communicate important information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Impacts Medical Care
Statistics can be a bit fuzzy and intangible so let’s consider some essential information you could miss when speaking with pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.
When it comes to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a key element. They might talk about what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They may tell you to abstain from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. You may be missing crucial pieces of advice that would help you manage your situation.
You may be in a situation where your physician informs you that you need medical attention. If you don’t understand completely what the doctor is saying, you may miss significant warning signs and delay getting help.
Your pharmacist may try to give you a warning about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You believe you heard everything but you miss a critical detail and wind up hospitalized.
Your physical therapist gets you started with a strength-building routine but warns you not to engage in a particular activity. You could suffer a serious fall because you missed that advice.
Why discussing Medical Information is Especially Challenging
Communicating medical data is particularly difficult because of a little thing known as context. When you miss some piece of information because of your hearing loss, you use context to try to fill in what you missed. Your brain is in fact very good at compensating for hearing loss. So good, as a matter of fact, that it could even make you believe that you heard something you didn’t truly hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be totally changed, when dealing with medical information, with something as basic as a “don’t” or “not”. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, could be
entirely changed with one missed number.
The slightest detail makes a big difference when it comes to medical care. When those little details are missed, it can lead to severe medical issues.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
You could be missing crucial medical advice if you suffer from hearing loss. It’s time to deal with that and get your hearing back.