Significant health information is missed by about 43% of patients over the age of 60, based on recent studies. Important information, regarding health care, might be missed due to hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small matter. Globally, a third of individuals who are 65 or older have debilitating hearing loss.
But shockingly, if we go a little deeper we find that only 30% of those people with debilitating hearing loss have taken measures to better their situation. When it comes to medical care, this isn’t good news.
With Health Care – Communication is Key
Miscommunication is one of the leading causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still a leading cause of death. A report from Harvard showed that up to 37% of serious injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been prevented with better communication. Lives could be saved if essential information could be better communicated with patients.
How Hearing Loss Impacts Medical Care
Statistics can be a bit abstract and intangible so let’s look at important information you could miss when talking to pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.
When it comes to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a crucial element. Perhaps they’re talking to you about healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They might tell you to abstain from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. You might be missing important pieces of advice that would help you manage your situation.
You may be in a situation where your doctor notifies you that you need medical care. You may not get the help that you require because you didn’t completely understand what your doctor was explaining.
Your pharmacist might try to give you a warning about dangerous side effects or drug interactions. 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 routine but warns you against a certain activity. You could suffer a serious fall because you missed that advice.
It’s Particularly Challenging to Communicate Medical Data
Taking medical information in the proper context is especially challenging. When you suffer from hearing loss, you make use of context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is in fact really good at compensating for hearing loss. So good, in fact, that it could even convince you that you heard something you didn’t actually hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be completely altered, when dealing with medical information, with something as basic 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 matter. When those little details are missed, it can produce serious medical problems.
Having Your Hearing Loss Treated
If you have hearing loss, you might be missing vital medical advice. Now is the time to take the correct steps to save your hearing.