Essential health information is missed by around 43% of patients who are 60 or older, based on recent research. Important details, with regards to health care, might be missed due to hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small problem. Worldwide, one third of people who are 65 or older have debilitating hearing loss.
If we take it further, we find that surprisingly only around 30% of those same senior citizens suffering from hearing loss have, or make use of, treatments that would benefit their hearing. This trend isn’t good news for healthcare as we’ll illustrate next.
The Significance of Communication in Health Care
A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a major cause of medical error. As many as 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors, according to a Harvard study, would not have happened if communication had been stronger. An enhanced ability to communicate crucial information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care
Statistics can be a little abstract and hard to get one’s head around so let’s look at essential info you might miss when talking to pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.
Doctors and nurses work with you regarding certain health goals. They may talk about what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. There are certain things that can harm you if they are not managed in a way that your health care professional advises. You might be missing important pieces of advice that would help you handle your condition.
You might be in a situation where your medical provider lets you know that you need medical care. If you don’t understand fully what the physician is communicating, you might miss crucial warning signs and delay getting assistance.
There may be essential 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 everything but you didn’t.
Perhaps you get a warning about some hazardous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the recommendation and suffer a serious fall as a result.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Especially Challenging
Taking medical data in the proper context is particularly difficult. When you miss something because of 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 actually 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 entirely alter the meaning of a sentence. One number misunderstood could completely change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
The smallest detail matters when it comes to medical care. When those little details are missed, it can lead to severe medical issues.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
You could be missing important medical advice if you suffer from hearing loss. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to save your hearing.