Scientists think that 20-somethings who wear hearing aids will soon become more prevalent as hearing loss is a public health issue.
When you consider severe hearing loss, thoughts of elderly people might come to mind. But all age groups have had a recent rise in hearing loss during the past few years. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further demonstrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing crisis.
Researchers predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double in adults 20 and older. This is viewed as a public health problem by the healthcare community. One in five people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a hard time communicating because of extreme hearing loss.
Let’s see why experts are so alarmed and what’s contributing to a spike in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Lead to Additional Health Issues
It’s a horrible thing to have to go through serious hearing loss. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and challenging every day. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they love and withdraw from friends and family. When you’re enduring severe hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
Those with untreated hearing loss suffer from more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Other serious health problems
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from recurring falls
They also have difficulty getting their everyday needs met and are more likely to have problems with personal relationships.
In combination with the impact on their personal lives, individuals suffering from hearing loss may face increased:
- Insurance rates
- Disability rates
- Healthcare expenses
- Needs for public support
- Accident rates
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors indicate, hearing loss is a significant obstacle.
Why Are Numerous Age Groups Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
There are a number of factors contributing to the current increase in hearing loss. One factor is the increased prevalence of common conditions that can lead to hearing loss, including:
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
These disorders and other associated conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re happening to people at younger ages.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a great deal to do with lifestyle. In recreational and work areas in particular, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud noise. We’re being exposed to loud noises and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. Young people who regularly go to the following places have the highest level of hearing loss:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Moreover, many people are cranking the volume of their music up to dangerous levels and are wearing earbuds. And a greater number of people are now using painkillers, either to address chronic pain or recreationally. Long-term, frequent use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been connected with a higher risk of hearing loss.
How is Society Reacting to Hearing Loss as a Health Issue?
Local, national, and world organizations have recognized the issue. They’re trying to stop this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
Individuals are being urged by these organizations to:
- Know their degree of hearing loss risk
- Wear their hearing aids
- Have their hearing evaluated sooner in their lives
Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these actions.
Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are looking for solutions. They’re also looking for ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. Advanced hearing technology will be increased and lives will be significantly enhanced.
Comprehensive approaches are being formulated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. Decreasing the danger of hearing loss among underserved groups is being addressed with health services, education, and awareness.
Local leaders are being educated on the health affect of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They work with communities to reduce resident’s noise exposure and instruct them on what safe levels of noise are. In addition, they’re facilitating research on how opiate use and abuse can raise the risk of hearing loss.
What You Can do?
Hearing loss is a public health problem so stay informed. Take steps to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss and share practical information with people.
Get your own hearing examined if you suspect you are suffering from hearing loss. Make sure you get and use your hearing aids if you discover that you need them.
The final goal is to prevent all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people understand they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the problems of hearing loss. Policies, actions. and attitudes will then be transformed by this awareness.