Significant health information is missed by about 43% of patients who are 60 or older, based on recent studies. At a time when following medical advice is so critical, patients may be missing important details about their care.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major problem. Disabling hearing loss is a problem worldwide for around a third of people over 65.
If we go further, we find that surprisingly only around 30% of those same seniors suffering from hearing loss have, or use, solutions that would improve their hearing. This pattern isn’t good news for healthcare as we’ll illustrate next.
With Medical Care – Communication is Essential
A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a major cause of medical error. A report from Harvard demonstrated that up to 37% of severe injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been prevented with better communication. Lives could be saved if important information could be better communicated with patients.
How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care
When you are talking with pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some info you won’t want to miss so let’s not dwell on statistics.
With regards to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a vital element. Maybe they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are particular things that can be harmful if they are not managed in a way that your health care professional recommends. You could be missing important pieces of advice that would help you handle your situation.
These medical professionals may explain danger zones that reveal that you need medical care. If you don’t understand completely what the physician is communicating, you could miss significant warning signs and delay getting assistance.
There may be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to warn you about. You could end up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard everything but you didn’t.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building program but warns you not to engage in a specific activity. You could suffer a severe fall because you missed that recommendation.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Particularly Challenging
Communicating medical data is particularly challenging because of a little thing known as context. When you suffer from hearing loss, you utilize context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is in fact really good at compensating for hearing loss. So good, in fact, that it could even make you believe that you heard something you didn’t actually hear.
With medical data something as seemingly insignificant as a “don’t” or “not” can totally alter the meaning of a sentence. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, could be
totally altered with one missed number.
In medical care the smallest details matter. Missing them has been shown to result in medical mistakes.
Having Your Hearing Loss Treated
You could be missing crucial medical advice if you suffer from hearing loss. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to conserve your hearing.