Research estimates 43% of patients over the age of 60 may be missing crucial health information due to hearing loss. At a time when following medical guidance is so important, patients could be missing major details about their care.
There is a Global Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big issue. Disabling hearing loss is a problem worldwide for about a third of people over 65.
But surprisingly, if we look a little closer we discover that only 30% of those people with debilitating hearing loss have taken steps to better their situation. This pattern isn’t good news for healthcare as we’ll show next.
With Health Care – Communication is Essential
Miscommunication is one of the major causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still a leading cause of death. A study from Harvard revealed that up to 37% of serious injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been avoided with better communication. 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 abstract and intangible so let’s consider some essential info you could miss when talking to pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.
When it comes to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a vital element. Perhaps they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They may tell you to avoid certain foods to prevent spikes in these numbers that can do you harm. Managing your condition could become a problem if you miss crucial advice.
These medical professionals might explain danger zones that reveal that you need medical care. If you don’t understand completely what the physician is saying, you could miss significant warning signs and put off on getting assistance.
There might be essential details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to warn you about. You think you heard everything but you lose a critical detail and wind up in the hospital.
Perhaps you get a warning against doing some hazardous activity from your physical therapist. You could suffer a severe fall because you missed that recommendation.
Why discussing Medical Information is Particularly Challenging
Putting medical information in the correct context is especially challenging. When you miss something due to your hearing loss, you make use of context to try to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something that your brain is actually pretty good at. So good, in fact, that it could even make you believe that you heard something you didn’t actually hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be totally changed, when addressing 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.
The slightest detail matters when it comes to medical care. When those little details are missed, it can produce severe medical problems.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
If you have hearing loss, you might be missing important medical advice. Now is the time to take the proper steps to save your hearing.