Important health information is missed by an estimated 43% of patients over the age of 60, based on recent studies. At a time when heeding medical guidance is so important, patients could be missing major details related to their care.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big problem. Worldwide, a third of people who are 65 or older have disabling hearing loss.
If we take it further, we see that shockingly only about 30% of those same senior citizens suffering from hearing loss have, or use, solutions that would improve their hearing. In terms of medical care, this is bad news.
With Health Care – Communication is Crucial
Miscommunication is one of the primary causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still a leading cause of death. As many as 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have happened if communication had been better. An improved ability to communicate essential information with patients could save lives.
How Medical Care is Affected by Hearing Loss
Statistics can be a bit abstract and intangible so let’s look at essential information you might miss when speaking with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
When it comes to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a key element. They might talk about what balanced 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 could be missing crucial pieces of advice that would help you manage your condition.
These medical providers may explain danger zones that reveal that you need medical care. You may not get the help that you require because you didn’t fully comprehend what your doctor was saying.
Your pharmacist could try to give you a warning about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You think you heard everything but you lose a critical detail and end up hospitalized.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building program but warns you against a particular activity. You might suffer a serious fall because you missed that recommendation.
It’s Especially Challenging to Talk About Medical Information
Putting medical information in the proper context is particularly challenging. When you miss something because of 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 actually pretty good at. So good, actually, that it could even make you believe that you heard something you didn’t really hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be entirely changed, when dealing with medical information, with something as basic as a “don’t” or “not”. One number misunderstood could completely change 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 result in serious medical issues.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you could be missing vital medical advice. Now is the time to take the proper steps to save your hearing.