Research shows that about 43% of patients over the age of 60 may be missing important health information as a result of hearing loss. At a time when heeding medical advice is so critical, patients could be missing major details related to their care.
There is a Global Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small issue. Debilitating hearing loss is a problem worldwide for around a third of people over 65.
If we take it further, we find that surprisingly only about 30% of those same seniors who suffer with hearing loss have, or make use of, treatments that would improve their hearing. This pattern isn’t good news for healthcare as we’ll demonstrate next.
The Value of Communication in Medical Care
Miscommunication is one of the major causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still one of the leading causes of death. Up to 37% of serious injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, would not have occurred if communication had been stronger. Lives could be saved if important information could be better communicated with patients.
How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care
When you are speaking with pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some info you won’t want to miss so let’s not linger on statistics.
Doctors and nurses advise you regarding particular health goals. Maybe they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are particular things that can be harmful if they are not handled in a way that your health care professional suggests. Handling your condition could get away from you if you miss essential advice.
These medical providers might explain danger zones that indicate that you need medical care. You might not get the assistance that you require because you didn’t completely understand what your doctor was saying.
Your pharmacist might try to give you a warning about dangerous side effects or drug interactions. You think you heard everything but you lose a critical detail and wind up in the hospital.
Perhaps you receive a warning about some dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the recommendation and sustain a serious fall as a result.
Why Communicating Medical Details is Especially Demanding
Taking medical information in the correct context is especially challenging. When you miss some piece of information because 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 actually pretty good at. So good, as a matter of fact, that it might even convince you that you heard something you didn’t truly hear.
With medical information something as small as a “don’t” or “not” can entirely 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. Misunderstanding them has been shown to lead to medical errors.
Having Your Hearing Loss Treated
If you have hearing loss, you may be missing essential medical advice. Now is the time to take the correct steps to conserve your hearing.