Significant health information is missed by around 43% of patients over the age of 60, based on recent research. At a time when heeding medical advice is so essential, patients might be missing vital details related to their care.
Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big problem. Debilitating hearing loss is a problem globally for around a third of people over 65.
If we go further, we discover that surprisingly only about 30% of those same seniors who suffer with hearing loss have, or use, solutions that would improve their hearing. This trend isn’t good news for medical care 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. Up to 37% of severe injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have happened if communication had been better. An enhanced ability to communicate important information with patients could save lives.
How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss
Statistics can be a bit fuzzy and intangible so let’s look at essential information you might miss when speaking with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
When it comes to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a vital element. Perhaps they’re explaining healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are particular things that can harm you if they are not controlled in a way that your health care professional suggests. You might be missing essential pieces of advice that would help you handle your condition.
These medical professionals may explain danger zones that suggest that you need medical care. You may not get the help that you need because you didn’t completely understand what your doctor was saying.
Your pharmacist could try to give you a warning about dangerous 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.
Perhaps you get a warning against doing some hazardous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the advice and sustain a serious fall as a result.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Especially Challenging
Discussing medical information is particularly difficult because of a little thing called context. When you miss some piece of information because of your hearing loss, you make use of context to attempt to fill in what you missed. Your brain is in fact very good at compensating for hearing loss. So good, in fact, that it might even convince you that you heard something you didn’t actually hear.
With medical information something as seemingly insignificant as a “don’t” or “not” can totally change the meaning of a sentence. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, might be
completely changed with one missed number.
In medical care the smallest details make a big difference. Misunderstanding them has been shown to result in medical errors.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
You could be missing essential medical advice if you suffer from hearing loss. It’s time to do something about that and get your hearing back.