Significant health information is missed by around 43% of patients over the age of 60, based on recent studies. At a time when following medical guidance is so essential, patients might be missing important details related to their care.
Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major problem. Globally, one third of people who are 65 or older have debilitating hearing loss.
But shockingly, if we look a little closer we find that only 30% of those people with disabling hearing loss have taken steps to better their situation. In terms of medical care, this is bad news.
With Health Care – Communication is Essential
One of the leading causes of death is medical error and miscommunication is a leading cause of medical error. A study from Harvard showed that as many as 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been prevented with better communication. An enhanced ability to communicate important information with patients could save lives.
How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care
When you are talking to 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 certain health objectives. Perhaps they’re talking to you about healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are certain things that can be harmful if they are not managed in a way that your health care professional recommends. You could be missing essential pieces of advice that would help you manage your situation.
These medical providers may explain danger zones that reveal that you need medical care. If you don’t understand fully what the doctor is saying, you may miss important warning signs and delay getting help.
Your pharmacist might try to give you a warning about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You could wind up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard everything but you didn’t.
Your physical therapist puts you on a strength-building program but warns you against a specific activity. You miss the recommendation and sustain a serious fall as a result.
Why discussing Medical Information is Especially Challenging
Communicating medical data is particularly tough because of a little thing called context. When you miss something as a result of your hearing loss, you use context to attempt to fill in what you missed. Your brain is in fact really good at compensating for hearing loss. So good, as a matter of fact, that it could even convince you that you heard something you didn’t actually hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be entirely changed, when dealing with medical information, with something as basic as a “don’t” or “not”. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, might be
completely changed with one missed number.
In medical care the smallest details matter. Missing them has been shown to result in medical mistakes.
Having Your Hearing Loss Treated
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you may be missing needed medical advice. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to conserve your hearing.