Research estimates 43% of patients over 60 may be missing crucial health information because of hearing loss. At a time when heeding medical advice is so crucial, patients might be missing important details about their care.
There is a Worldwide Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big issue. Globally, one third of individuals over the age of 65 have debilitating hearing loss.
If we take it further, we discover that shockingly only around 30% of those same senior citizens who suffer with hearing loss have, or use, treatments that would improve their hearing. This pattern isn’t good news for medical care as we’ll show next.
The Significance of Communication in Health Care
One of the leading causes of death is medical error and miscommunication is a primary cause of medical error. A study from Harvard showed that as many as 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been prevented with improved communication. Lives could be saved if crucial information could be better communicated with patients.
How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss
When you are talking 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 objectives. Perhaps they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are some things that can be harmful if they are not controlled in a way that your health care professional suggests. Handling your condition could get away from you if you miss important advice.
These medical professionals might explain danger zones that suggest that you need medical care. If you don’t understand completely what the doctor is communicating, you could miss important warning signs and delay getting assistance.
Your pharmacist may try to warn you 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.
Your physical therapist gets you started with a strength-building routine but warns you against a certain activity. You might suffer a severe fall because you missed that advice.
Why Communicating Medical Details is Particularly Challenging
Communicating medical information is particularly tough because of a little thing known as context. When you have hearing loss, you utilize context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is actually very good at compensating for hearing loss. 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 altered, when dealing with medical information, with something as simple as a “don’t” or “not”. One number misunderstood could totally change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the slightest details matter. Misunderstanding them has been shown to lead to medical mistakes.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
You could be missing crucial medical advice if you suffer from hearing loss. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to conserve your hearing.