Significant health information is missed by around 43% of patients over the age of 60, based on recent studies. At a time when following medical advice is so crucial, patients could be missing vital details related to their care.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small problem. Globally, one third of individuals over the age of 65 have disabling hearing loss.
If we take it further, we discover that shockingly only around 30% of those same seniors suffering from hearing loss have, or use, treatments that would improve their hearing. This pattern isn’t good news for healthcare as we’ll demonstrate next.
The Importance of Communication in Health Care
Miscommunication is one of the primary causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still one of the leading causes of death. 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 improved ability to communicate crucial information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care
When you are talking to pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some information you won’t want to miss so let’s not linger on statistics.
Doctors and nurses advise you regarding certain health objectives. Maybe they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. They may tell you to stay away from certain foods to prevent spikes in these numbers that can be harmful. You might be missing important pieces of advice that would help you handle your condition.
You may be in a situation where your medical provider notifies you that you need medical care. If you don’t comprehend fully what the physician is saying, you might miss significant warning signs and put off on getting help.
Your pharmacist might try to give you a warning about dangerous side effects or drug interactions. You think you heard everything but you lose an important detail and wind up in the hospital.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building regimen but warns you against a certain activity. You miss the advice and suffer a serious fall as a result.
It’s Particularly Challenging to Talk About Medical Information
Putting medical data in the proper context is particularly challenging. When you miss something because of your hearing loss, you use context to try to fill in what you missed. Your brain is actually really good at compensating for hearing loss. You may even come to believe that you heard something that you actually 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”. One misunderstood number could totally change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
The smallest detail matters when it comes to medical care. Missing them has been shown to lead to medical errors.
Having Your Hearing Loss Treated
If you have hearing loss, you could be missing needed medical advice. It’s time to do something about that and get your hearing back.