Significant health information is missed by about 43% of patients who are 60 or older, according to recent studies. At a time when heeding medical guidance is so critical, patients might be missing major details related to their care.
There is a Global Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a big problem. Debilitating hearing loss is a problem worldwide for around a third of people who are 65 or older.
But shockingly, if we go a little deeper we discover that only 30% of those people who have debilitating hearing loss have taken measures to better their situation. This trend isn’t good news for healthcare as we’ll illustrate next.
With Health Care – Communication is Crucial
Miscommunication is one of the leading causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still a leading cause of death. As many as 37% of serious injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, wouldn’t have happened if communication had been stronger. An improved ability to communicate important information with patients could save lives.
How Medical Care is Affected by Hearing Loss
Statistics can seem a little fuzzy and intangible so let’s consider some essential information you might miss when talking to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
With regards to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a key element. They might talk about what balanced levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. There are particular things that can be harmful if they are not controlled in a way that your health care professional suggests. Managing your condition could get away from you if you miss important advice.
You may be in a situation where your physician lets you know that you require medical care. If you don’t comprehend completely what the physician is communicating, you might miss essential warning signs and put off on getting assistance.
There may be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to warn you about. 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 regimen but warns you not to engage in a certain activity. You could suffer a severe fall because you missed that recommendation.
It’s Particularly Challenging to Communicate Medical Information
Putting medical data in the correct context is particularly difficult. When you suffer from hearing loss, you utilize context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is actually really good at compensating for hearing loss. You may even come to believe that you heard something that you really didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
With medical information something as small as a “don’t” or “not” can totally alter the meaning of a sentence. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, might be
completely altered with one missed number.
In medical care the slightest details matter. When those little details are missed, it can produce serious medical problems.
Having Your Hearing Loss Treated
If you have hearing loss, you may be missing essential medical advice. Now is the time to take the correct steps to save your hearing.