Important health information is missed by about 43% of patients who are 60 or older, based on recent research. Important details, with regards to health care, might be missed due to hearing loss.
There is a Global Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major problem. Globally, a third of individuals over the age of 65 have disabling 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 make use of, solutions that would improve their hearing. When it comes to medical care, this is bad news.
With Medical Care – Communication is Key
One of the leading causes of death is medical error and miscommunication is a major cause of medical error. As many as 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have happened if communication had been better. An improved ability to communicate important information with patients could save lives.
How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss
When you are speaking with pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some information you won’t want to miss so let’s not linger on statistics.
Doctors and nurses work with you regarding certain health objectives. Perhaps they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are some things that can be harmful if they are not managed in a way that your health care professional suggests. You may be missing essential pieces of advice that would help you manage your situation.
You might be in a situation where your medical provider informs you that you require medical attention. If you don’t comprehend completely what the doctor is saying, you might miss important warning signs and put off on getting assistance.
There may be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to make you aware of. You could wind 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 not to engage in a particular activity. You miss the advice and suffer a serious fall as a result.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Especially Challenging
Communicating medical data is particularly challenging because of a little thing called context. When you have 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. So good, actually, that it may even convince you that you heard something you didn’t actually hear.
With medical data something as small as a “don’t” or “not” can completely change the meaning of a sentence. One number misunderstood could completely change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. Misunderstanding them has been shown to lead to 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 appropriate steps to save your hearing.