Falls and Balance
Hospitals and doctors’ offices nationwide might have avoided nearly 2000 patient deaths and thousands more emergency room visits if medical staff and patients communicated better. Those with hearing loss misunderstand over 50% of instructions given by physicians and health providers. According to a recent report published in the journal JAMA, there is a significant breakdown in communication with patients over 60. Patients describe not understanding therapeutic instructions, medication dosages or side effects which can lead to a myriad of other health issues and risks.
In hospitals and many medical care settings there is often competing noise in the background. Patients are often nervous and already stressed about their medical condition and the content is often extremely technical and unfamiliar. Those with hearing loss rely on lip-reading, facial expressions and visual cues when communicating. Hospitals and physician offices now require electronic medical records. Doctors and medical staff spend the majority of time typing notes into a computer thereby eliminating face-to-face doctor-patient communication.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Get a hearing test now. If your hearing is even slightly diminished, get treatment immediately to improve your clarity and ability to understand and communicate. Ask for as many repetitions as needed to comprehend physician instructions. Ask your doctors and care providers to stop typing and look at you when they speak. Your health and life are of paramount importance, protect yourself by being your own best advocate.
Your hearing, processing, clarity and ability to understand speech are vital to your happiness, your relationships and your enjoyment of life.
Your hearing ability and your hearing health are a direct link to your overall health and wellness. Do not wait until you have a problem. By the time you realize you have a problem with your hearing, irreversible damage to your brain has already occurred and may be too late to reverse or repair. Get your hearing checked regularly.
Dr. Ronna Fisher, Au.D.
Founder & President
Hearing Health Center, Inc.