Significant health information is missed by about 43% of patients who are 60 or older, according to recent studies. Important details, with regards to health care, might be missed because of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major issue. Worldwide, one third of individuals over the age of 65 have disabling hearing loss.
But surprisingly, if we go a little deeper we find that only 30% of those people who have debilitating hearing loss have taken measures to better their situation. In terms of medical care, this is bad news.
The Importance of Communication in Health Care
Miscommunication is one of the leading causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still a leading cause of death. As many as 37% of severe injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have occurred if communication had been better. Lives could be saved if important information could be better communicated with patients.
How Hearing Loss Impacts 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 linger on statistics.
With regards to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a vital element. Perhaps they’re talking to you about healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are some things that can harm you if they are not handled in a way that your health care professional suggests. You may be missing important pieces of advice that would help you handle your condition.
These medical providers may explain danger zones that reveal that you require medical care. If you don’t comprehend fully what the physician is communicating, you might miss important warning signs and put off on getting assistance.
Your pharmacist might try to warn you about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You could end up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard everything but you didn’t.
Perhaps you receive a warning against doing some dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the recommendation and suffer a serious fall as a result.
It’s Especially Difficult to Talk About Medical Data
Putting medical data in the proper context is especially difficult. When you suffer from hearing loss, you use context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Compensating for hearing loss is something your brain is in fact rather good at. So good, in fact, that it may even make you believe that you heard something you didn’t really hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be entirely altered, when dealing with medical information, with something as basic as a “don’t” or “not”. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, could be
entirely altered with one missed number.
In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. Misunderstanding them has been shown to result in medical errors.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
If you have hearing loss, you could be missing important medical advice. It’s time to deal with that and get your hearing back.