Research shows that about 43% of patients over 60 might be missing fundamental health information due to hearing loss. At a time when following medical advice is so essential, patients may be missing important details related to their care.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big problem. Disabling hearing loss is an issue globally for around a third of individuals who are 65 or older.
If we go further, we find that shockingly only around 30% of those same seniors suffering from hearing loss have, or make use of, solutions that would benefit their hearing. In terms of medical care, this isn’t good news.
With Medical Care – Communication is Key
A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a major cause of medical error. A study from Harvard demonstrated that as many as 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been avoided with improved communication. Lives could be saved if important information could be better communicated with patients.
How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care
Statistics can be a bit fuzzy and intangible so let’s look at important information you might miss when talking to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
With regards to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a crucial element. They might talk about what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They may tell you to abstain from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. You could be missing essential pieces of advice that would help you handle your condition.
You may be in a situation where your physician informs you that you need medical care. If you don’t understand fully what the doctor is saying, you might miss essential warning signs and delay getting assistance.
There might be crucial details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to warn you about. You could wind up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard all the information but you didn’t.
Perhaps you receive a warning about some dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You might suffer a serious fall because you missed that recommendation.
It’s Particularly Challenging to Communicate Medical Data
Putting medical information in the correct context is especially difficult. When you miss something due to your hearing loss, you make use of context to attempt to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something your brain is in fact pretty good at. So good, as a matter of fact, that it might even make you believe that you heard something you didn’t truly hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be entirely changed, when addressing medical information, with something as simple as a “don’t” or “not”. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, might be
entirely altered with one missed number.
In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. When those small details are missed, it can lead to severe medical problems.
Getting Help For Hearing Loss
You could be missing crucial medical advice if you have hearing loss. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to conserve your hearing.