Bad hearing - cause of communication problems

Günter S. (65) sits in the waiting room of his family doctor. Suddenly the receptionist stands right in front of him: "Mr. S., it's your turn!" She has called him several times already, she says. But Günter S. heard nothing of it in the voices of the waiting room. He has a hearing loss. During the subsequent conversation with the doctor Mr. S. also does not understand everything that is said. The constant demands is embarrassing and so he leaves the practice without having really understood the diagnosis.

Inadequate communication with the doctor

Günter S. is not an isolated case. As a British study shows, every fifth hearing impaired patient says goodbye to his doctor, without knowing what diagnosis was actually made. As the cause of this ignorance, the majority (80 percent) of the respondents indicate that the communication between them and the doctor is inadequate.

Another sobering result of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) study: Twelve percent of respondents report that they are trying to avoid appointments with a doctor or practice staff because of these communication problems. "With well-adapted hearing systems and appropriate communication strategies, these patients could spare themselves such depressing experiences, " Dr. Karin Uphoff from the Fördergemeinschaft Gutes Hören.

Around 14 million people in Germany have hearing problems

In most cases, modern hearing aids could significantly improve hearing and understanding. But only about three million of those affected are supplied with devices. Many - as well as Günter S. - believe that they can cope quite well without hearing aids. Often, they are not aware that their hearing problems make things much more difficult in everyday life.

An orienting hearing test at the audiologist or ear, nose and throat specialist provides certainty. If the suspicion of hearing loss is confirmed, the ENT specialist carries out further diagnostics. He decides how the patient can be helped. If he recommends hearing systems, these are then individually and expertly customized by the hearing care professional.

Tip: Already in the registration point out that you have hearing problems

Effective communication is indispensable in private and professional life. Especially in the doctor's office, it is important that you do not talk past each other. After all, it's about your own health, the healing of illnesses and alleviation of discomfort. For example, 85 percent of Germans say doctors should talk more to their patients, according to pollsters Emnid and emphasis. The main concern of hearing-impaired people is that they can understand what is being said acoustically. A basic requirement here is, of course, the supply of hearing aids.

But there are also useful tips on how to behave in medical practices: So you should already point out when registering that you have hearing problems and therefore loud speaker announcements or soft calls bad understand. Even the doctor should be asked immediately at the welcome to speak clearly. Conversely, care should also be taken by the practice in principle:

  • that no disturbing background noises can be heard in the treatment room
  • that the doctor looks at the patient while talking to him
  • that it makes sense to repeat important sentences in a calm tone several times
  • that if you do not understand, you should always repeat the whole sentence, not just a word
  • that technical terms should not be assumed, but explained briefly

Incidentally, all these communication strategies also make conversations with good-listening people more pleasant.

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