Significant health information is missed by an estimated 43% of patients who are 60 or older, based on recent studies. Important details, regarding health care, might be missed because of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major issue. Worldwide, one third of people over the age of 65 have disabling hearing loss.
If we delve further, we discover that surprisingly only about 30% of those same senior citizens who suffer with hearing loss have, or make use of, solutions that would improve their hearing. This pattern isn’t good news for healthcare as we’ll illustrate next.
With Medical Care – Communication is Key
A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a leading cause of medical error. A report from Harvard revealed that as many as 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been avoided with improved communication. Lives could be saved if important information could be better communicated with patients.
How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care
When you are talking to pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some info you won’t want to miss so let’s not dwell on statistics.
With regards to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a crucial factor. Perhaps they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are particular things that can harm you if they are not handled in a way that your health care professional advises. Dealing with your condition could become a problem if you miss important advice.
These medical professionals might explain danger zones that suggest that you require medical care. If you don’t understand completely what the doctor is communicating, you could miss significant warning signs and delay getting help.
Your pharmacist might try to give you a warning about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You believe you heard everything but you lose an important detail and wind up hospitalized.
Maybe you get a warning against doing some dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You might suffer a serious fall because you missed that advice.
Why discussing Medical Details is Especially Challenging
Communicating medical data is particularly difficult because of a little thing known as context. When you suffer from hearing loss, you use context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Compensating for hearing loss is something that your brain is in fact rather good at. So good, in fact, that it might even make you believe that you heard something you didn’t actually hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be completely changed, when addressing medical information, with something as basic as a “don’t” or “not”. One misunderstood number could totally alter a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. Misunderstanding them has been shown to result in medical errors.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
You could be missing crucial medical advice if you suffer from hearing loss. Now is the time to take the correct steps to conserve your hearing.