Research shows that about 43% of patients over the age of 60 might be missing important health information because of hearing loss. Important details, with regards to health care, might be missed due to hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major issue. Worldwide, a third of individuals who are 65 or older have debilitating hearing loss.
If we go further, we find 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 medical care as we’ll show next.
With Health Care – Communication is Crucial
A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a major 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 stronger. An improved ability to communicate crucial information with patients could save lives.
How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss
Statistics can seem a little fuzzy and intangible so let’s look at essential information you could 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 key element. 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 do you harm. Managing your condition could get away from you if you miss essential advice.
These medical providers may explain danger zones that suggest that you require medical care. You may not get the assistance that you need because you didn’t fully comprehend what your doctor was saying.
There might be crucial details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is attempting to warn you about. You believe you heard everything but you miss a critical detail and end up in the hospital.
Maybe you receive a warning against doing some dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the advice and sustain a serious fall as a result.
It’s Particularly Difficult to Communicate Medical Information
Taking medical information in the proper context is particularly challenging. When you miss some piece of information as a result of your hearing loss, you use context to try to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something your brain is in fact pretty good at. So good, in fact, that it might even convince you that you heard something you didn’t really 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 misunderstood number could totally alter a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the smallest details matter. Misunderstanding them has been shown to lead to medical mistakes.
Having Your Hearing Loss Treated
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you may be missing vital medical advice. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to conserve your hearing.