Important health information is missed by an estimated 43% of patients who are 60 or older, according to recent research. At a time when following medical guidance is so important, patients could be missing major details about their care.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major issue. Worldwide, a third of individuals over the age of 65 have disabling hearing loss.
If we delve further, we find that shockingly only about 30% of those same senior citizens suffering from hearing loss have, or make use of, treatments that would benefit their hearing. In terms of medical care, this is bad news.
The Importance of Communication in Health Care
A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a primary 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. Lives could be saved if essential information could be better communicated with patients.
How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care
Statistics can seem a bit abstract and intangible so let’s look at important info you might miss when speaking with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
With regards to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a crucial element. They may talk about what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They may tell you to avoid certain foods to prevent spikes in these numbers that can be harmful. You could be missing crucial pieces of advice that would help you manage your condition.
You may be in a situation where your medical provider lets you know that you require medical attention. You may not get the help that you need because you didn’t fully understand what your doctor was saying.
There might be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is attempting to make you aware of. You believe you heard everything but you lose an important detail and wind up hospitalized.
Perhaps you receive a warning about some dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the advice and suffer a serious fall as a result.
Why Communicating Medical Details is Particularly Challenging
Putting medical information in the proper context is particularly difficult. When you have hearing loss, you utilize context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Compensating for hearing loss is something your brain is actually rather good at. You might even come to believe that you heard something that you really didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
With medical data something as seemingly insignificant as a “don’t” or “not” can completely change the meaning of a sentence. One misunderstood number could totally change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. Missing them has been shown to result in medical mistakes.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you could be missing vital medical advice. Now is the time to take the correct steps to save your hearing.