Important health information is missed by an estimated 43% of patients over the age of 60, based on recent research. At a time when following medical guidance is so important, patients may be missing major details related to their care.
There is a Worldwide Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big issue. Debilitating hearing loss is a problem globally for about a third of people over 65.
If we take it further, we find that shockingly only around 30% of those same seniors who suffer with hearing loss have, or make use of, solutions that would benefit their hearing. When it comes to medical care, this is bad news.
With Health Care – Communication is Key
Miscommunication is one of the leading causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still one of the leading causes of death. Up to 37% of severe injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have occurred if communication had been stronger. Lives could be saved if essential information could be better communicated with patients.
How Hearing Loss Impacts Medical Care
Statistics can seem a bit abstract and hard to get one’s head around so let’s look at essential information you might miss when speaking with pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.
With regards to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a crucial factor. They may explain what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. There are some things that can be harmful if they are not controlled in a way that your health care professional recommends. You might be missing important pieces of advice that would help you handle your condition.
You might be in a situation where your doctor lets you know that you require medical attention. If you don’t comprehend fully what the doctor is saying, you may miss crucial warning signs and delay getting help.
Your pharmacist might try to warn you about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You could wind up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard all the information but you didn’t.
Your physical therapist gets you started with a strength-building routine but warns you against a particular activity. You might suffer a serious fall because you missed that advice.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Especially Challenging
Putting medical data in the proper context is particularly challenging. When you suffer from hearing loss, you make use of context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Compensating for hearing loss is something your brain is in fact rather good at. You may even come to think that you heard something that you really didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
The meaning of a sentence can be completely 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.
In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. When those little details are missed, it can lead to serious medical problems.
Getting Help For Hearing Loss
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you may be missing vital medical advice. It’s time to do something about that and get your hearing back.