Scientists think that 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more prevalent as hearing loss is a public health issue.
Most people think of the elderly when they consider severe hearing loss. But over the past few years, there has been an increase in hearing loss with all age groups. Hearing loss obviously isn’t an aging problem it’s an increasing epidemic and the rising instances among all age groups illustrates this.
Researchers predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double among adults 20 and older. The healthcare network views this as a serious public health concern. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five individuals is currently dealing with hearing loss so extreme it makes communication difficult.
Hearing loss is increasing amongst all age groups and here is why experts think that is.
Hearing Loss Can Trigger Further Health Problems
It’s a terrible thing to have to go through profound hearing loss. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and challenging every day. People can frequently disengage from their friends and family and stop doing the things they love. When you’re suffering from significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that people with neglected hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re also more likely to develop the following
- Other acute health problems
- Injuries from recurring falls
- Cognitive decline
They also have difficulty getting their everyday needs met and are more likely to have problems with personal relationships.
Along with the impact on their personal lives, people suffering from hearing loss might face increased:
- Healthcare costs
- Disability rates
- Insurance rates
- Accident rates
- Needs for public assistance
These factors indicate that hearing loss is a significant obstacle we need to fight as a society.
Why Are Numerous Age Groups Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?
The recent rise in hearing loss can be attributed to a number of factors. The increased cases of some common conditions that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
These disorders and other related conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re affecting people at younger ages.
Lifestyle also plays an important role in the increased occurrence of hearing loss. In recreational and work areas specifically, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud sound. 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
In addition, many individuals are choosing to wear earbuds and turn their music up to dangerous levels. And a greater number of people are now making use of painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Continued, frequent use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been linked to a higher risk of hearing loss.
How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Issue?
Local, national, and world organizations have recognized the problem. They’re educating the public as a step to reduce this growing trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
These organizations also urge individuals to:
- Recognize their degree of hearing loss risk
- Wear their hearing aids
- Have their hearing tested sooner in their lives
Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these actions.
Solutions are being sought by government organizations, healthcare providers, and scientists. They’re also pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. This will help improve accessibility to state-of-the-art hearing technologies that greatly enhance lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to create in depth strategies. They are combining education, awareness, and health services to lower the danger of hearing loss in underserved communities.
Among their efforts, they’ve developed research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders understand the health affects of noise. They work with communities to decrease resident’s noise exposure and instruct them on what safe levels of noise are. They’re also pushing forward research into how hearing loss is raised with the use and abuse of opiates.
Can You do Anything?
Hearing loss is a public health problem so remain informed. Take measures to slow the development of your own hearing loss and share practical information with other people.
If you believe you might be experiencing hearing loss, get a hearing exam. Make sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you learn that you need them.
The final goal is to avoid all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people recognize they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the challenges of hearing loss. Policies, attitudes, and actions will then be transformed by this awareness.