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

Research shows that about 43% of patients over 60 may be missing fundamental health information because of hearing loss. Major information, with regards to health care, could be missed because of hearing loss.

Hearing Loss – A Worldwide Epidemic

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

But surprisingly, if we look a little closer we find that only 30% of those people who suffer from debilitating hearing loss have taken steps to better their situation. When it comes to medical care, this is bad news.

With Medical Care – Communication is Essential

A major cause of death is medical error and miscommunication is a major cause of medical error. 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. Lives could be saved if crucial information could be better communicated with patients.

How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss

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

Doctors and nurses work with you regarding particular health objectives. They might talk about what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. There are certain things that can be harmful if they are not controlled in a way that your health care professional recommends. Controlling your condition could become a problem if you miss important advice.

You might be in a situation where your physician lets you know that you need medical attention. You might not get the assistance that you need because you didn’t fully comprehend what your doctor was saying.

Your pharmacist might try to give you a warning about harmful side effects or drug interactions. You think you heard everything but you lose an important detail and end up hospitalized.

Maybe you receive a warning against doing some dangerous activity from your physical therapist. You miss the advice and suffer a serious fall as a result.

Why discussing Medical Information is Particularly Challenging

Discussing medical data is particularly difficult because of a little thing known as context. When you miss some piece of information because of your hearing loss, you make use of context to try to fill in what you missed. Compensating for hearing loss is something your brain is actually rather good at. You might even come to think that you heard something that you actually didn’t hear, it’s that good at compensating.

The meaning of a sentence can be totally altered, when addressing medical information, with something as basic as a “don’t” or “not”. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, could be
completely changed with one missed number.

In medical care the smallest details matter. Misunderstanding them has been shown to lead to medical mistakes.

Having Your Hearing Loss Treated

If you have hearing loss, you may be missing important medical advice. Now is the time to take the appropriate steps to conserve 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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