Important health information is missed by around 43% of patients who are 60 or older, as reported by recent studies. Major information, with regards to health care, could be missed because of hearing loss.
There is a Global Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small problem. Globally, one third of people who are 65 or older have disabling hearing loss.
But astoundingly, if we go a little deeper we find that only 30% of those people who suffer from debilitating hearing loss have taken steps to better their situation. In terms of medical care, this is bad news.
With Health Care – Communication is Key
One of the leading causes of death is medical error and miscommunication is a leading cause of medical error. A report from Harvard demonstrated that up to 37% of serious injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been prevented with better communication. An improved ability to communicate crucial information with patients could save lives.
How Medical Care is Affected by Hearing Loss
Statistics can be a little abstract and hard to get one’s head around so let’s consider some essential information you could miss when speaking with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
When it comes to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a crucial element. Maybe they’re talking to you about healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are certain things that can be harmful if they are not controlled in a way that your health care professional suggests. You could be missing important pieces of advice that would help you handle your situation.
These medical providers might explain danger zones that reveal that you need medical care. If you don’t comprehend fully what the doctor is communicating, you might miss important warning signs and delay getting help.
There might be essential details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to make you aware of. You believe you heard everything but you miss an important detail and wind up hospitalized.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building program but warns you not to engage in a certain activity. You might suffer a severe fall because you missed that advice.
Why discussing Medical Details is Particularly Challenging
Communicating medical information is particularly challenging because of a little thing called context. When you miss some piece of information as a result of your hearing loss, you make use of context to try to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something your brain is actually pretty good at. You may even come to think that you heard something that you actually didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
With medical information something as small as a “don’t” or “not” can entirely alter the meaning of a sentence. One misunderstood number could completely change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
The slightest detail makes a big difference when it comes to medical care. When those little details are missed, it can result in serious medical issues.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
If you have hearing loss, you could be missing important medical advice. It’s time to do something about that and get your hearing back.