Significant health information is missed by about 43% of patients over the age of 60, as reported by recent studies. At a time when following medical advice is so important, patients could be missing important details related to their care.
Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small problem. Worldwide, a third of people who are 65 or older have debilitating hearing loss.
If we take it further, we find that shockingly only about 30% of those same seniors suffering from hearing loss have, or make use of, solutions that would improve their hearing. This trend isn’t good news for medical care as we’ll show next.
The Significance of Communication in Medical Care
A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a primary cause of medical error. As many as 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have happened if communication had been stronger. Lives could be saved if essential information could be better communicated with patients.
How Medical Care is Affected by Hearing Loss
Statistics can seem a little fuzzy and intangible so let’s consider some essential info you could miss when talking to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
When it comes to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a vital factor. Maybe they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They may tell you to abstain from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can be harmful. Handling your condition could get away from you if you miss important advice.
These medical professionals might explain danger zones that suggest that you need medical care. You may not get the assistance that you need because you didn’t fully comprehend what your doctor was saying.
Your pharmacist might try to warn you about dangerous side effects or drug interactions. You believe you heard everything but you lose an important detail and end up hospitalized.
Your physical therapist gets you started with a strength-building regimen but warns you against a particular activity. You might suffer a serious fall because you missed that advice.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Particularly Challenging
Putting medical information in the proper context is particularly difficult. When you miss something due to your hearing loss, you use context to try to fill in what you missed. Your brain is actually really good at compensating for hearing loss. So good, actually, that it could even convince you that you heard something you didn’t truly hear.
With medical data something as seemingly insignificant as a “don’t” or “not” can entirely change the meaning of a sentence. One number misunderstood could totally 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 lead to medical mistakes.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
If you have hearing loss, you might be missing important medical advice. Now is the time to take the proper steps to save your hearing.