Research estimates 43% of patients over 60 may be missing crucial health information as a result of hearing loss. Important details, with regards to health care, might be missed because of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic
Hearing loss isn’t a small issue. Debilitating hearing loss is a problem worldwide for around a third of people over 65.
If we take it further, we find that shockingly only around 30% of those same senior citizens who suffer with hearing loss have, or use, treatments that would benefit their hearing. This pattern isn’t good news for medical care as we’ll show next.
With Medical Care – Communication is Essential
One of the leading causes of death is medical error and miscommunication is a major cause of medical error. A study from Harvard revealed that as many as 37% of severe injuries that resulted from medical errors could have been prevented with better communication. Lives could be saved if important information could be better communicated with patients.
How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss
Statistics can seem a little abstract and intangible so let’s look at essential info you could miss when speaking with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.
Doctors and nurses advise you regarding particular health objectives. They might talk about what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They might tell you to abstain from certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. You could be missing important pieces of advice that would help you manage your situation.
You may be in a situation where your doctor notifies you that you need medical attention. If you don’t understand completely what the physician is saying, you may miss crucial warning signs and delay getting help.
There may be important details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is trying to make you aware of. You think you heard everything but you miss an important detail and end up in the hospital.
Perhaps you get a warning about some dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You might suffer a serious fall because you missed that recommendation.
Why Communicating Medical Information is Particularly Challenging
Putting medical information in the correct context is especially difficult. When you miss some piece of information due to your hearing loss, you make use of context to try to fill in what you missed. Your brain is actually really good at compensating for hearing loss. You may 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 small as a “don’t” or “not” can totally change the meaning of a sentence. One number misunderstood could completely change a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.
The slightest detail matters when it comes to medical care. When those small details are missed, it can lead to serious medical issues.
Having Your Hearing Loss Addressed
If you have hearing loss, you could be missing essential medical advice. It’s time to do something about that and get your hearing back.