11 August 2014

Medical instructions fall on deaf ears

More than one-in-five seniors experience difficulties when visiting their family doctor due to their hearing loss, an Australian study shows.

Understanding the medical instructions given by their GP/family doctor is often of the utmost importance for a patient’s wellbeing. A study shows that many hard of hearing seniors risk misinterpreting the medical directions given by their GP/family doctor. Additional types of communication between patients and doctors could be a solution.

Feeling embarrassed

The Australian study of more than 1,300 Australians aged over 50 indicates that 21% of the participants experience difficulties when visiting their GP/family doctor due to their hearing problems.

Also, as a result of poor hearing, 14% of the seniors said they felt embarrassed to ask their family doctor to repeat sentences and 10% found it hard to follow directions about medications.

According to the researchers, the results of the study emphasize the need for additional types of communication when giving medical instructions to hearing impaired patients.

Postpone the use of hearing aid

On top of having difficulty following instructions; the study revealed that nearly half of the seniors diagnosed with hearing loss wait for over four years before taking action. This lack of urgency for professional hearing care among Australian seniors is the result of their reluctance to admit that they have as severe a hearing loss as they do. The seniors do not believe their hearing is so bad or they simply put up with the problem, because they do not see it as their top priority.

The researchers stress the importance of early action when it comes to hearing problems. People are advised to have a hearing check-up as part of their regular checkup. Here, the GP/family doctor plays an important role. With a simple hearing screening, the doctor can enhance the quality of a patient’s life.

The study was conducted and published by Australian Hearing.

Source: www.bellingencourier.com.au 

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