Research shows that about 43% of patients over 60 might be missing fundamental health information because of hearing loss. Significant information, with regards to health care, could be missed because of hearing loss.
There is a Global Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major issue. Globally, a third of individuals over the age of 65 have debilitating hearing loss.
If we take it further, we find that shockingly only about 30% of those same seniors suffering from hearing loss have, or use, solutions that would benefit their hearing. This trend isn’t good news for medical care as we’ll demonstrate next.
The Importance of Communication in Medical Care
One of the leading causes of death is medical error and miscommunication is a leading cause of medical error. A report from Harvard demonstrated that as many as 37% of serious injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been prevented with improved communication. Lives could be saved if important information could be better communicated with patients.
How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care
Statistics can be a little fuzzy and intangible so let’s look at significant information you might miss when talking to pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.
With regards to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a key factor. They may talk about what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. There are some things that can be harmful if they are not handled in a way that your health care professional recommends. You may be missing important pieces of advice that would help you handle your situation.
These medical professionals may explain danger zones that reveal that you require medical care. You might not get the help that you require because you didn’t fully comprehend what your doctor was explaining.
There may be crucial details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is attempting to warn you about. You could wind up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard everything but you didn’t.
Your physical therapist gets you started with a strength-building program but warns you against a specific activity. You could suffer a severe fall because you missed that advice.
Why discussing Medical Details is Especially Challenging
Discussing medical data is particularly challenging because of a little thing known as context. When you suffer from hearing loss, you utilize context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Compensating for hearing loss is something that your brain is in fact pretty good at. So good, actually, that it might even convince you that you heard something you didn’t really hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be completely changed, when addressing medical information, with something as simple as a “don’t” or “not”. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, could be
totally altered with one missed number.
The smallest detail makes a big difference when it comes to medical care. When those small details are missed, it can result in severe medical problems.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
You could be missing vital medical advice if you have hearing loss. Now is the time to take the proper steps to save your hearing.