Research shows that about 43% of patients over the age of 60 might be missing important health information as a result of hearing loss. Major information, regarding health care, might be missed due to hearing loss.
There is a Worldwide Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big problem. Debilitating hearing loss is an issue globally for about a third of people over 65.
If we go further, we discover that shockingly only about 30% of those same seniors suffering from hearing loss have, or use, treatments that would benefit their hearing. This trend isn’t good news for medical care as we’ll demonstrate next.
With Medical Care – Communication is Crucial
Miscommunication is one of the primary causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still a leading cause of death. A study from Harvard demonstrated that as many as 37% of serious injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been avoided with better communication. Lives could be saved if important information could be better communicated with patients.
How Hearing Loss Impacts Medical Care
Statistics can be a little abstract and hard to get one’s head around so let’s look at important info you might miss when speaking with pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.
When it comes to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a crucial element. They may talk about what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They might tell you to abstain from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can be harmful. Controlling your condition could get away from you if you miss essential advice.
You may be in a situation where your physician notifies you that you require medical attention. You may not get the help that you need because you didn’t fully comprehend what your doctor was saying.
There may be crucial details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to make you aware of. You think you heard everything but you miss a critical detail and end up in the hospital.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building routine but warns you not to engage in a specific activity. You miss the advice and sustain a serious fall as a result.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Particularly Challenging
Taking medical information in the proper context is particularly challenging. When you have hearing loss, you make use of context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is actually 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 entirely change the meaning of a sentence. One number misunderstood could completely alter a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. Misunderstanding them has been shown to result in medical mistakes.
Getting Help For Hearing Loss
If you have hearing loss, you could be missing vital medical advice. It’s time to do something about that and get your hearing back.