Research estimates 43% of patients over 60 might be missing fundamental health information due to hearing loss. At a time when heeding medical guidance is so important, patients may be missing major details related to their care.
There is a Global Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small matter. Globally, a third of people who are 65 or older have disabling hearing loss.
But astoundingly, if we look a little closer we discover that only 30% of those people with debilitating hearing loss have taken steps to improve their situation. This trend isn’t good news for medical care as we’ll illustrate next.
With Medical Care – Communication is Key
A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a leading cause of medical error. Up to 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors, according to a Harvard study, would not have occurred if communication had been better. An improved ability to communicate important information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Impacts Medical Care
Statistics can seem a bit fuzzy and hard to get one’s head around so let’s look at important info you might miss when speaking with pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.
When it comes to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a vital factor. They may explain what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They may tell you to stay away from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. Controlling your condition could become a problem if you miss crucial advice.
You might be in a situation where your physician lets you know that you require medical care. If you don’t comprehend fully what the doctor is communicating, you could miss crucial warning signs and put off on getting help.
There may be important 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 dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the recommendation and suffer a serious fall as a result.
Why discussing Medical Information is Especially Demanding
Discussing medical information is particularly tough because of a little thing called context. When you suffer from hearing loss, you use context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is in fact very good at compensating for hearing loss. So good, in fact, that it could even make you believe that you heard something you didn’t actually hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be completely altered, when addressing medical information, with something as simple as a “don’t” or “not”. One number misunderstood could totally alter a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
The slightest detail makes a big difference when it comes to medical care. When those little details are missed, it can lead to severe medical problems.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
You could be missing essential medical advice if you suffer from hearing loss. It’s time to deal with that and get your hearing back.