Significant health information is missed by about 43% of patients over the age of 60, as reported by recent research. At a time when heeding medical advice is so critical, patients could be missing vital details about their care.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small issue. Worldwide, a third of individuals over the age of 65 have disabling hearing loss.
If we go further, we see that shockingly only about 30% of those same seniors suffering from hearing loss have, or use, solutions that would benefit their hearing. When it comes to medical care, this is bad news.
With Medical Care – Communication is Essential
One of the leading causes of death is medical error and miscommunication is a primary cause of medical error. As many as 37% of serious injuries that were caused by medical errors, according to a Harvard study, would not have happened if communication had been stronger. Lives could be saved if essential information could be better communicated with patients.
How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care
Statistics can be a little abstract and intangible so let’s consider some significant information you could miss when speaking with pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.
With regards to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a key factor. Perhaps they’re talking to you about healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They might tell you to avoid certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can be harmful. You could be missing essential pieces of advice that would help you manage your condition.
You might be in a situation where your physician notifies you that you need medical attention. If you don’t understand fully what the physician is saying, you may miss significant warning signs and put off on getting help.
Your pharmacist may try to give you a warning about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You believe you heard everything but you miss an important detail and end up hospitalized.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building routine but warns you not to engage in a specific activity. You could suffer a serious fall because you missed that recommendation.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Particularly Demanding
Putting medical information in the proper context is especially challenging. When you miss something due to your hearing loss, you make use of context to try to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something that your brain is in fact 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 data something as small as a “don’t” or “not” can totally change the meaning of a sentence. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, might be
totally changed with one missed number.
The smallest detail matters when it comes to medical care. When those small details are missed, it can produce serious medical issues.
Getting Help For Hearing Loss
You could be missing crucial medical advice if you have hearing loss. Now is the time to take the proper steps to save your hearing.