Scientists believe 20-somethings who wear hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health concern.
Most people think of the elderly when they consider severe hearing loss. But over the last few years, there has been a surge in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further illustrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing epidemic.
With adults 20 and up, scientists forecast that hearing loss will increase by 40%. This is viewed as a public health concern by the healthcare community. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five people is already dealing with hearing loss so severe it makes communication challenging.
Hearing loss is increasing among all age groups and here is why experts think that is.
Additional Health Problems Can be The Consequence of Hearing Loss
It’s a terrible thing to have to go through profound hearing loss. Day-to-day communication becomes challenging, frustrating, and fatiguing. It can cause people to stop doing what they love and withdraw from friends and family. If you don’t seek help, it’s virtually impossible to be active while going through severe hearing loss.
Those with neglected hearing loss suffer from more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Cognitive decline
- Other acute health conditions
They also have trouble getting their basic needs met and are more likely to have problems with personal relationships.
Individuals who endure hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and could also have increased:
- Healthcare costs
- Disability rates
- Insurance costs
- Needs for public assistance
- Accident rates
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors indicate, hearing loss is a real obstacle.
Why Are Numerous Age Groups Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?
The current increase in hearing loss can be linked to a number of factors. One factor is the increased incidence of common diseases that can lead to hearing loss, including:
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
- High blood pressure
These disorders and other related conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re happening to people at earlier 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:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Also, many individuals are turning the volume of their music up to dangerous volumes and are wearing earbuds. And a greater number of people are now using painkillers, either to manage chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will raise your chance of hearing loss especially if used over a long period of time.
How is Society Reacting to Hearing Loss as a Health Problem?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re educating the public as a measure to reduce this rising trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
These organizations also motivate individuals to:
- Have their hearing tested earlier in their lives
- Recognize their level of hearing loss risk
- Use their hearing aids
Any delays in these actions make the impact of hearing loss substantially worse.
Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are seeking solutions. Hearing aid associated costs are also being tackled. This will help increase accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that significantly improve lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to develop in depth strategies. Reducing the risk of hearing loss in underserved communities is being tackled with health services, education, and awareness.
Local leaders are being made aware of the health impact 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. Additionally, they’re furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the risk of hearing loss.
What You Can do?
Hearing loss is a public health issue so stay informed. Share beneficial information with other people and take action to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
If you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss, get a hearing exam. Be sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you find that you need them.
The final goal is to stop all hearing loss. You’re helping other people who have hearing loss realize that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re helping your community become more aware of the difficulties of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to change attitudes, actions, and policies.