Research shows that about 43% of patients over 60 may be missing important health information due to hearing loss. Important information, regarding health care, might be missed because of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small issue. Disabling hearing loss is a problem globally for about a third of people who are 65 or older.
If we go further, we see that surprisingly only around 30% of those same senior citizens suffering from hearing loss have, or use, solutions that would benefit their hearing. When it comes to medical care, this is bad news.
The Importance of Communication in Medical Care
A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a primary cause of medical error. Up to 37% of serious injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, would not have happened if communication had been stronger. An improved ability to communicate essential information with patients could save lives.
How Medical Care is Affected by Hearing Loss
Statistics can seem a little fuzzy and intangible so let’s look at important info you might miss when speaking with pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.
Doctors and nurses work with you regarding specific health objectives. Perhaps they’re talking to you about healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are certain things that can harm you if they are not managed in a way that your health care professional advises. You might be missing crucial pieces of advice that would help you handle your situation.
These medical providers may explain danger zones that suggest that you require medical care. If you don’t comprehend fully what the doctor is communicating, you could miss important warning signs and put off on getting help.
Your pharmacist may try to warn you about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You could wind up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard all the information but you didn’t.
Perhaps you get a warning about some hazardous activity from your physical therapist. You could suffer a severe fall because you missed that recommendation.
Why discussing Medical Information is Especially Demanding
Communicating medical information 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. Your brain is actually very good at compensating for hearing loss. You may even come to think that you heard something that you actually didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
With medical information something as seemingly insignificant as a “don’t” or “not” can entirely alter the meaning of a sentence. One misunderstood number could completely change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the slightest details matter. Missing them has been shown to lead to medical mistakes.
Getting Help For Hearing Loss
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you could be missing important medical advice. It’s time to do something about that and get your hearing back.