Essential health information is missed by an estimated 43% of patients over the age of 60, based on recent research. Major information, with regards to health care, could be missed due to hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small problem. Worldwide, a third of individuals who are 65 or older have debilitating hearing loss.
But astoundingly, if we go a little deeper we find that only 30% of those people with debilitating hearing loss have taken steps to better their situation. In terms of medical care, this isn’t good news.
The Importance of Communication in Health Care
A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a leading cause of medical error. Up to 37% of severe injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have occurred if communication had been better. An enhanced ability to communicate essential information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Impacts Medical Care
When you are talking to pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some info you won’t want to miss so let’s not dwell on statistics.
Doctors and nurses work with you regarding particular health objectives. They might explain what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. There are particular things that can harm you if they are not managed in a way that your health care professional advises. You might be missing important pieces of advice that would help you handle your condition.
These medical professionals might explain danger zones that reveal that you need medical care. If you don’t comprehend fully what the physician is saying, you might miss important warning signs and put off on getting help.
There may be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is attempting to warn you about. You could end up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard all the information but you didn’t.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building regimen but warns you against a particular activity. You miss the recommendation and sustain a serious fall as a result.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Especially Challenging
Taking medical information in the proper context is especially challenging. When you miss something because of your hearing loss, you use context to try to fill in what you missed. Your brain is in fact very good at compensating for hearing loss. You might even come to believe that you heard something that you really didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
With medical data something as small as a “don’t” or “not” can completely alter the meaning of a sentence. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, might be
totally altered with one missed number.
In medical care the slightest details make a big difference. When those little details are missed, it can produce severe medical problems.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
If you have hearing loss, you may be missing vital medical advice. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to save your hearing.