Important health information is missed by around 43% of patients over the age of 60, according to recent studies. Major details, when it comes to health care, could be missed because of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big problem. Globally, a third of individuals who are 65 or older have debilitating hearing loss.
But shockingly, if we go a little deeper we discover that only 30% of those people with disabling hearing loss have taken measures to improve their situation. 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 primary causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still a leading cause of death. As many as 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have happened if communication had been stronger. An improved ability to communicate crucial information with patients could save lives.
How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss
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.
Doctors and nurses advise you regarding particular health objectives. They may talk about what balanced levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They might tell you to abstain from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. Dealing with your condition could become a problem if you miss crucial advice.
These medical providers may explain danger zones that reveal that you need medical care. If you don’t comprehend fully what the doctor is communicating, you might miss significant warning signs and delay getting assistance.
There may be crucial details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to make you aware of. You could end 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 routine but warns you not to engage in a particular activity. You miss the recommendation and sustain a serious fall as a result.
It’s Particularly Challenging to Communicate Medical Data
Communicating medical data is especially difficult because of a little thing called context. When you miss something due to your hearing loss, you use context to try to fill in what you missed. Your brain is actually really good at compensating for hearing loss. So good, as a matter of fact, that it might even convince you that you heard something you didn’t truly hear.
With medical data something as seemingly insignificant as a “don’t” or “not” can completely change the meaning of a sentence. One misunderstood number could totally change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
In medical care the slightest details matter. Misunderstanding them has been shown to lead to medical mistakes.
Having Your Hearing Loss Treated
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you might be missing needed medical advice. Now is the time to take the correct steps to save your hearing.