Scientists think that 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health issue.
When you consider extreme hearing loss, ideas 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 among all ages further illustrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing epidemic.
Among adults 20 and older, researchers predict that hearing loss will increase by 40%. This is viewed as a public health problem by the healthcare community. One out of five people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a hard time communicating due to extreme hearing loss.
Let’s look at why experts are so worried and what’s contributing to an increase in hearing loss among all age groups.
Added Health Problems Can be The Consequence of Hearing Loss
It’s a terrible thing to have to go through severe hearing loss. Communication is frustrating, fatiguing, and demanding every day. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they enjoy and withdraw from family and friends. If you don’t seek help, it’s nearly impossible to be active while suffering from severe hearing loss.
Individuals with untreated hearing loss suffer from more than diminished hearing. They’re much more likely to experience:
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Cognitive decline
- Other acute health problems
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal friendships and might have challenges getting basic needs met.
In combination with the affect on their personal lives, individuals experiencing hearing loss might face increased:
- Insurance rates
- Accident rates
- Healthcare costs
- Disability rates
- Needs for public support
These factors show that hearing loss is a major challenge we should deal with as a society.
What’s Contributing to Increased Hearing Loss Across Multiple Generations?
The current increase in hearing loss can be attributed to numerous factors. The increased instances of some common conditions that trigger hearing loss is one factor, 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 increased 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. Exposure to loud sounds is more prevalent, specifically in recreation areas and work environments. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other sounds in more places. It’s frequently the younger people who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Also, many people are cranking the volume of their music up to harmful volumes and are using earbuds. And a larger number of individuals are now making use of painkillers, either to address chronic pain or recreationally. Continued, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been connected with a higher risk of hearing loss.
How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Problem?
Local, national, and world organizations have recognized the problem. They’re educating the public as a step to reduce this rising trend with the following:
- Treatment possibilities
- Risk factors
Individuals are being encouraged by these organizations to:
- Wear their hearing aids
- Know their level of hearing loss risk
- Have their hearing checked earlier in their lives
Any delays in these actions make the affect of hearing loss a lot worse.
Researchers, healthcare providers, and government organizations are looking for solutions. They’re also looking for ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. This will help improve accessibility to state-of-the-art hearing technologies that greatly enhance lives.
Comprehensive strategies are being developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. They are integrating awareness, education, and health services to decrease the danger of hearing loss in underserved groups.
Local leaders are being educated on the health affect of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They explain what safe noise exposure is, and help communities minimize noise exposure for residents. Additionally, they are furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can raise the risk of hearing loss.
Can You do Anything?
Keep yourself informed because hearing loss is a public health issue. Share useful information with others and take action to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
If you think you might be suffering from hearing loss, have your hearing examined. If you learn you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.
The main goal is to prevent all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people realize they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the challenges of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to change attitudes, actions, and policies.