Research estimates 43% of patients over the age of 60 may be missing crucial health information as a result of hearing loss. Significant details, regarding health care, might be missed because of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small problem. Disabling hearing loss is an issue globally for around a third of people over 65.
If we take it further, we see that surprisingly only about 30% of those same seniors suffering from hearing loss have, or use, treatments that would benefit their hearing. When it comes to medical care, this isn’t good news.
The Value of Communication in Medical Care
Miscommunication is one of the major causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still one of the leading causes of death. As many as 37% of severe injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have happened if communication had been stronger. An improved ability to communicate important information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Impacts Medical Care
When you are talking to pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some information you won’t want to miss so let’s not dwell on statistics.
Doctors and nurses work with you regarding particular health objectives. Perhaps they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They might tell you to stay away from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. You could be missing important pieces of advice that would help you manage your situation.
You might be in a situation where your doctor lets you know that you require medical attention. You may not get the assistance that you need because you didn’t completely comprehend what your doctor was explaining.
There may be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to make you aware of. You could end up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard all the information but you didn’t.
Your physical therapist gets you started with a strength-building program but warns you against a specific activity. You miss the recommendation and suffer a serious fall as a result.
It’s Particularly Difficult to Talk About Medical Data
Putting medical data 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. Compensating for hearing loss is something that your brain is actually pretty good at. You might even come to believe that you heard something that you actually didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
The meaning of a sentence can be totally changed, when dealing with medical information, with something as basic as a “don’t” or “not”. One misunderstood number could totally change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the smallest details matter. Missing them has been shown to result in medical errors.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
You could be missing crucial medical advice if you have hearing loss. It’s time to do something about that and get your hearing back.