Significant health information is missed by about 43% of patients over the age of 60, as reported by recent studies. Major information, regarding health care, might be missed due to hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major issue. Worldwide, a third of individuals over the age of 65 have debilitating hearing loss.
But shockingly, if we go a little deeper we discover that only 30% of those people with debilitating hearing loss have taken steps to improve their situation. When it comes to medical care, this isn’t good news.
With Medical Care – Communication is Key
A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a primary cause of medical error. A report from Harvard demonstrated that up to 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been prevented with improved communication. An improved ability to communicate crucial information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Impacts Medical Care
When you are talking with pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some information you won’t want to miss so let’s not linger on statistics.
With regards to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a crucial element. They may explain what balanced levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They might tell you to stay away from certain foods to prevent spikes in these numbers that can do you harm. You might be missing essential pieces of advice that would help you handle your condition.
These medical providers may explain danger zones that suggest that you need medical care. If you don’t understand completely what the physician is saying, you might miss crucial warning signs and put off on getting assistance.
Your pharmacist could try to give you a warning about dangerous side effects or drug interactions. You believe you heard everything but you lose an important detail and wind up hospitalized.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building regimen but warns you against a specific activity. You miss the recommendation and suffer a serious fall as a result.
It’s Especially Difficult to Communicate Medical Data
Putting medical data in the proper context is especially challenging. When you miss something because of your hearing loss, you use context to try to fill in what you missed. Your brain is actually very good at compensating for hearing loss. You might even come to think that you heard something that you actually didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
The meaning of a sentence can be totally changed, when dealing with medical information, with something as simple as a “don’t” or “not”. One number misunderstood could completely change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the slightest details make a big difference. Missing them has been shown to lead to medical errors.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you may be missing essential medical advice. Now is the time to take the proper steps to conserve your hearing.