Essential health information is missed by around 43% of patients who are 60 or older, based on recent studies. At a time when heeding medical advice is so important, patients may be missing important details about their care.
Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major problem. Debilitating hearing loss is a problem globally for around a third of individuals over 65.
If we go further, we see that shockingly only about 30% of those same seniors who suffer with hearing loss have, or use, treatments that would improve their hearing. This trend isn’t good news for healthcare as we’ll show next.
The Importance of Communication in Medical Care
Miscommunication is one of the major causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still a leading cause of death. As many as 37% of serious injuries that were caused by medical errors, according to a Harvard study, would not have occurred if communication had been stronger. An improved ability to communicate important information with patients could save lives.
How Medical Care is Affected by Hearing Loss
When you are speaking with pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some information you won’t want to miss so let’s not linger on statistics.
When it comes to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a key factor. Perhaps they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are some things that can be harmful if they are not handled in a way that your health care professional suggests. You could be missing crucial pieces of advice that would help you manage your situation.
These medical professionals might explain danger zones that reveal that you require medical care. If you don’t understand completely what the doctor is communicating, you may miss essential warning signs and delay getting help.
There might be essential details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is attempting to make you aware of. You believe you heard everything but you lose a critical detail and end up hospitalized.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building regimen but warns you against a certain activity. You miss the advice and sustain a serious fall as a result.
It’s Particularly Difficult to Talk About Medical Data
Discussing medical information is particularly tough because of a little thing called context. When you miss some piece of information because of your hearing loss, you make use of context to attempt to fill in what you missed. Your brain is actually really good at compensating for hearing loss. You may even come to think that you heard something that you really didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
The meaning of a sentence can be completely changed, when addressing medical information, with something as basic as a “don’t” or “not”. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, might be
entirely changed with one missed number.
In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. When those small details are missed, it can produce severe medical problems.
Getting Help For Hearing Loss
You could be missing important medical advice if you have hearing loss. Now is the time to take the correct steps to save your hearing.