Research shows that about 43% of patients over the age of 60 might be missing crucial health information because of hearing loss. At a time when heeding medical guidance is so important, patients may be missing important details related to their care.
There is a Global Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major problem. Globally, a third of individuals over the age of 65 have disabling hearing loss.
But shockingly, if we look a little closer we discover that only 30% of those people with debilitating hearing loss have taken steps to improve their situation. This pattern isn’t good news for medical care as we’ll illustrate next.
With Medical Care – Communication is Key
One of the leading causes of death is medical error and miscommunication is a primary cause of medical error. A report from Harvard demonstrated that up to 37% of serious injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been avoided with improved communication. 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 dwell on statistics.
Doctors and nurses work with you regarding specific health goals. They may explain what balanced levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They may tell you to abstain from certain foods to prevent spikes in these numbers that can do you harm. Managing your condition could get away from you if you miss crucial advice.
These medical professionals may explain danger zones that indicate that you require medical care. You may not get the help that you need because you didn’t completely understand what your doctor was saying.
There might be essential details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is attempting to warn you about. You think you heard everything but you lose an important detail and wind up in the hospital.
Maybe you get a warning about some dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the recommendation and suffer a serious fall as a result.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Especially Demanding
Communicating medical data is especially difficult because of a little thing called context. When you have hearing loss, you utilize context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is in fact really good at compensating for hearing loss. You may even come to believe that you heard something that you actually didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
The meaning of a sentence can be entirely changed, when addressing medical information, with something as simple as a “don’t” or “not”. One misunderstood number could completely alter a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
The smallest detail matters when it comes to medical care. When those small details are missed, it can result in severe medical problems.
Having Your Hearing Loss Treated
You could be missing important medical advice if you suffer from hearing loss. Now is the time to take the correct steps to conserve your hearing.