Significant health information is missed by around 43% of patients who are 60 or older, as reported by recent studies. At a time when following medical guidance is so important, patients could be missing important details about their care.
There is a Worldwide Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big problem. Globally, a third of people over the age of 65 have debilitating hearing loss.
But shockingly, if we go a little deeper we find that only 30% of those people with disabling hearing loss have taken steps to better their situation. When it comes to medical care, this isn’t good 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. A report from Harvard demonstrated that as many as 37% of severe injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been prevented with improved communication. An improved ability to communicate essential information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care
Statistics can be a bit fuzzy and hard to get one’s head around so let’s consider some essential info you might miss when talking to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
Doctors and nurses advise you regarding specific health goals. They might talk about what balanced levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. There are some things that can be harmful if they are not managed in a way that your health care professional advises. You might be missing crucial pieces of advice that would help you manage your situation.
These medical professionals might explain danger zones that indicate that you need medical care. You might not get the assistance that you need because you didn’t completely understand what your doctor was explaining.
There might be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is attempting to warn you about. You believe you heard everything but you miss a critical detail and wind up hospitalized.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building regimen but warns you not to engage in a certain activity. You miss the advice and suffer a serious fall as a result.
It’s Especially Challenging to Communicate Medical Data
Putting medical information in the proper context is especially challenging. When you miss something as a result of your hearing loss, you make use of context to attempt to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something your brain is in fact rather good at. So good, in fact, that it could even convince you that you heard something you didn’t truly hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be completely altered, when addressing medical information, with something as simple as a “don’t” or “not”. One number misunderstood could totally change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
The smallest detail makes a big difference when it comes to medical care. Misunderstanding them has been shown to lead to medical mistakes.
Having Your Hearing Loss Treated
You could be missing vital medical advice if you have hearing loss. It’s time to deal with that and get your hearing back.