Important health information is missed by around 43% of patients over the age of 60, based on recent studies. At a time when following medical advice is so important, patients may be missing important details related to their care.
There is a Worldwide Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major problem. Disabling hearing loss is an issue worldwide for around a third of individuals who are 65 or older.
But surprisingly, if we look a little closer we discover that only 30% of those people with debilitating hearing loss have taken measures 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 study from Harvard showed that up to 37% of serious injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been prevented with improved communication. Lives could be saved if crucial information could be better communicated with patients.
How Medical Care is Affected 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 dwell on statistics.
Doctors and nurses advise you regarding specific health objectives. They may explain what balanced levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. There are certain things that can harm you if they are not controlled in a way that your health care professional advises. You might be missing important pieces of advice that would help you manage your condition.
These medical providers might explain danger zones that suggest that you need medical care. You may not get the assistance that you need because you didn’t fully understand what your doctor was explaining.
There might 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 all the information but you didn’t.
Your physical therapist puts you on 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 Especially Difficult to Talk About Medical Information
Taking medical data in the correct context is especially difficult. 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 actually really good at compensating for hearing loss. So good, as a matter of fact, that it may even convince you that you heard something you didn’t truly hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be totally altered, when dealing with medical information, with something as simple as a “don’t” or “not”. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, could be
totally changed with one missed number.
In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. When those little details are missed, it can lead to serious medical problems.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
You could be missing crucial medical advice if you have hearing loss. It’s time to deal with that and get your hearing back.