Research shows that about 43% of patients over the age of 60 may be missing important health information as a result of hearing loss. Important details, when it comes to health care, might be missed because of hearing loss.
There is a Global Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big problem. Debilitating hearing loss is a problem worldwide for around a third of people over 65.
If we take it further, we find that surprisingly only around 30% of those same seniors suffering from hearing loss have, or make use of, treatments that would improve their hearing. In terms of medical care, this isn’t good news.
With Medical Care – Communication is Key
One of the leading causes of death is medical error and miscommunication is a primary cause of medical error. As many as 37% of severe injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have happened if communication had been better. An enhanced ability to communicate essential information with patients could save lives.
How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss
When you are talking with pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some information you won’t want to miss so let’s not dwell on statistics.
Doctors and nurses work with you regarding particular health objectives. They may talk about what balanced levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They may tell you to stay away from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can be harmful. Handling your condition could become a problem if you miss crucial advice.
You may be in a situation where your doctor lets you know that you require medical care. You may not get the assistance that you need because you didn’t completely understand what your doctor was saying.
There might be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to warn you about. You could wind up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard everything but you didn’t.
Perhaps you receive a warning against doing some hazardous activity from your physical therapist. You might suffer a serious fall because you missed that advice.
Why Communicating Medical Details is Particularly Demanding
Taking medical information in the proper context is particularly challenging. When you miss something as a result of your hearing loss, you make use of context to attempt to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something that your brain is in fact pretty good at. You may even come to think that you heard something that you really didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
With medical information something as small as a “don’t” or “not” can totally change the meaning of a sentence. One misunderstood number could totally change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the slightest details make a big difference. Missing them has been shown to result in medical errors.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
If you have hearing loss, you may be missing important medical advice. It’s time to deal with that and get your hearing back.