Man hospitalized from a fall related to his untreated hearing loss.

Important health information is missed by about 43% of patients who are 60 or older, as reported by recent research. At a time when following medical advice is so essential, patients could be missing vital details related to their care.

Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic

Hearing loss isn’t a small issue. Disabling hearing loss is an issue globally for about a third of individuals who are 65 or older.

If we go further, we find that surprisingly only about 30% of those same senior citizens who suffer with hearing loss have, or make use of, treatments that would benefit their hearing. In terms of medical care, this is bad news.

The Significance of Communication in Medical Care

Miscommunication is one of the major causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still a leading cause of death. Up to 37% of serious injuries that were a result of medical errors, according to a Harvard study, would not have occurred if communication had been stronger. An enhanced ability to communicate crucial information with patients could save lives.

How Medical Care is Affected by Hearing Loss

Statistics can seem a little abstract and hard to get one’s head around so let’s consider some important info you could miss when speaking with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.

When it comes to reaching health objectives, the advice of health care professionals is a vital factor. They might talk about what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They may tell you to avoid certain foods to prevent spikes in these numbers that can be harmful. Managing your condition could become a problem if you miss crucial advice.

These medical providers might explain danger zones that reveal that you need medical care. You may not get the assistance that you need because you didn’t completely understand what your doctor was saying.

Your pharmacist might try to give you a warning about dangerous side effects or drug interactions. You believe you heard everything but you miss a critical detail and end up hospitalized.

Perhaps you get a warning against doing some dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You could suffer a severe fall because you missed that advice.

It’s Particularly Difficult to Communicate Medical Information

Taking medical information in the correct context is especially difficult. When you have hearing loss, you make use of context to “fill in the blanks” where you missed something. Your brain is actually very good at compensating for hearing loss. You might even come to believe that you heard something that you actually didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.

The meaning of a sentence can be completely changed, when addressing medical information, with something as simple as a “don’t” or “not”. One misunderstood number could totally alter a dosage, a goal, or a danger zone.

In medical care the slightest details make a big difference. Misunderstanding them has been shown to lead to medical mistakes.

Getting Help For Hearing Loss

If you have hearing loss, you could be missing vital medical advice. Now is the time to take the proper steps to save your hearing.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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