Scientists believe 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health issue.
The majority of individuals think of the elderly when they consider severe hearing loss. But all age groups have seen a recent rise in hearing loss over the last few years. Increased hearing loss in all ages further illustrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing epidemic.
With adults 20 and older, researchers predict that hearing loss will rise by 40%. The healthcare community views this as a significant public health problem. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five individuals is already experiencing hearing loss so extreme it makes communication challenging.
Let’s find out why experts are so alarmed and what’s contributing to an increase in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Cause Additional Health Concerns
Serious hearing loss is a horrible thing to go through. Normal communication becomes difficult, aggravating, and fatiguing. Individuals can often disengage from their friends and family and stop doing the things they enjoy. When you’re enduring significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that people with untreated hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re much more likely to experience:
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from recurring falls
- Other acute health problems
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal friendships and might have trouble getting basic needs met.
Individuals who experience hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Healthcare costs
- Needs for public assistance
- Disability rates
- Insurance rates
- Accident rates
We need to combat hearing loss as a society because as these factors indicate, hearing loss is a significant obstacle.
Why Are Multiple Generations Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
There are numerous factors causing the present rise in hearing loss. The increased instances of some common illnesses that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
These disorders and other related conditions are contributing to increased hearing loss because they’re happening to people at earlier ages.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a lot to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud noises is more common, particularly in recreation areas and work environments. We’re being exposed to loud sounds and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. It’s frequently the younger age groups who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
In addition, many people are choosing to use earbuds and turn their music up to dangerous levels. And more individuals are treating pain with painkillers or taking them recreationally. Opiates, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen will raise your chance of hearing loss particularly if used over a extended time periods.
How is Hearing Loss as a Health Issue Being Dealt With by Society?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re working to end this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
Individuals are being prompted by these organizations to:
- Use their hearing aids
- Get their hearing tested sooner in their lives
- Recognize their level of hearing loss risk
Hearing loss will worsen with any delay in these measures.
Solutions are being sought by government organizations, healthcare providers, and scientists. They’re also pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. State-of-the-art hearing technology will be increased and lives will be substantially enhanced.
Comprehensive approaches are being developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. They are incorporating education, awareness, and health services to reduce the danger of hearing loss among underserved communities.
Local leaders are being made aware of the health affect of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They explain what safe noise exposure is, and work with communities to reduce noise exposure for residents. They’re also advancing research into how hearing loss is raised with the use and abuse of opiates.
Can You do Anything?
Stay informed as hearing loss is a public health problem. Share practical information with others and take steps to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
If you think you might be experiencing hearing loss, get a hearing exam. Make sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you find that you need them.
Stopping hearing loss is the main goal. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people understand they’re not alone. You’re bringing awareness about the problem of hearing loss in your community. This awareness has the power to transform attitudes, policies, and actions.