Significant health information is missed by around 43% of patients over the age of 60, as reported by recent studies. At a time when following medical advice is so important, patients might be missing important details about their care.
Hearing Loss – A Global Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small situation. Worldwide, a third of individuals who are 65 or older have debilitating hearing loss.
But surprisingly, if we go a little deeper we discover that only 30% of those people who suffer from debilitating hearing loss have taken measures to improve their situation. This pattern isn’t good news for medical care as we’ll show next.
The Importance of Communication in Health Care
Miscommunication is one of the leading causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still one of the leading causes of death. A report from Harvard revealed that as many as 37% of severe injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been prevented with better communication. Lives could be saved if essential information could be better communicated with patients.
How Hearing Loss Effects Medical Care
Statistics can be a little fuzzy and intangible so let’s look at significant information you might miss when talking to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
Doctors and nurses work with you regarding particular health objectives. Perhaps they’re talking to you about healthy insulin or blood pressure levels. There are some things that can harm you if they are not handled in a way that your health care professional advises. You might be missing important pieces of advice that would help you manage your condition.
You may be in a situation where your physician informs you that you need medical care. You might not get the help that you need because you didn’t completely understand what your doctor was saying.
There may be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to warn you about. You believe you heard everything but you lose an important detail and wind up hospitalized.
Your physical therapist gets you started with a strength-building regimen but warns you against a certain activity. You miss the advice and suffer a serious fall as a result.
Why discussing Medical Details is Particularly Demanding
Putting medical data in the proper context is especially challenging. When you miss something as a result of your hearing loss, you use context to try to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something that your brain is actually pretty good at. You might even come to believe that you heard something that you actually didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.
With medical data something as seemingly insignificant as a “don’t” or “not” can entirely alter the meaning of a sentence. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, could be
totally changed with one missed number.
In medical care the slightest details matter. Misunderstanding them has been shown to result in medical mistakes.
Getting Assistance For Hearing Loss
If you have hearing loss, you could be missing needed medical advice. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to save your hearing.