Essential health information is missed by an estimated 43% of patients over the age of 60, as reported by recent research. At a time when heeding medical guidance is so critical, patients may be missing major details related to their care.
There is a Global Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small matter. Worldwide, one third of individuals who are 65 or older have disabling hearing loss.
But surprisingly, if we look a little closer we find that only 30% of those people who have disabling hearing loss have taken measures to better their situation. When it comes to medical care, this isn’t good news.
The Importance of Communication in Health Care
Miscommunication is one of the leading causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still one of the leading causes of death. A report from Harvard revealed that as many as 37% of serious injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been prevented with improved communication. An improved ability to communicate important information with patients could save lives.
How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss
When you are talking to pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some info you won’t want to miss so let’s not dwell on statistics.
Doctors and nurses work with you regarding particular health objectives. Perhaps 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 do you harm. You may be missing important pieces of advice that would help you handle your condition.
You might be in a situation where your physician informs you that you require medical attention. You might not get the assistance that you require because you didn’t completely comprehend what your doctor was explaining.
There might be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is attempting to make you aware of. You could end up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard everything but you didn’t.
Your physical therapist gets you started with a strength-building routine but warns you not to engage in a particular activity. You might suffer a serious fall because you missed that recommendation.
It’s Particularly Challenging to Talk About Medical Information
Communicating medical data is particularly difficult because of a little thing known as context. When you suffer from hearing loss, you make use of context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Compensating for hearing loss is something that your brain is in fact pretty good at. You might even come to believe 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 dealing with medical information, with something as basic as a “don’t” or “not”. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, might be
totally changed with one missed number.
In medical care the smallest details matter. Missing them has been shown to result in medical mistakes.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you might be missing important medical advice. It’s time to deal with that and get your hearing back.