Scientists believe 20-somethings who wear hearing aids will soon become more prevalent as hearing loss is a public health issue.
When you think of extreme hearing loss, ideas of elderly people might come to mind. But all age groups have seen a recent increase in hearing loss during the last few years. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging issue it’s a growing crisis and the rising instances among all age groups demonstrates this.
Scientists predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double among adults 20 and older. This is seen as a public health problem by the healthcare community. One in five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating because of severe hearing loss.
Let’s look at why experts are so alarmed and what’s contributing to a spike in hearing loss among all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Lead to Added Health Concerns
It’s an awful thing to have to go through severe hearing loss. Normal communication becomes challenging, aggravating, and exhausting. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they love and withdraw from friends and family. If you don’t seek help, it’s almost impossible to be active while suffering from severe hearing loss.
Individuals who have neglected hearing loss are afflicted by more than diminished hearing. They’re a lot more likely to develop:
- Other severe health problems
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Cognitive decline
They also have difficulty getting their everyday needs met and are more likely to have difficulties with personal relationships.
people who experience hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Accident rates
- Needs for public support
- Insurance rates
- Disability rates
- Healthcare expenses
These factors demonstrate that hearing loss is a major obstacle we need to deal with as a society.
Why Are Numerous Age Groups Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
There are numerous factors contributing to the recent rise in hearing loss. One factor is the increased prevalence of common conditions that can lead to hearing loss, including:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
These disorders and other related conditions are contributing to increased hearing loss because they’re affecting people at earlier ages.
Lifestyle also plays a significant role in the increased prevalence of hearing loss. Exposure to loud sounds is more prevalent, particularly in work environments and recreational areas. 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 individuals are turning the volume of their music up to hazardous volumes and are wearing earbuds. And more people are treating pain with painkillers or taking them recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will increase your risk of hearing loss especially if taken over a long period of time.
How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Crisis?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re educating the public as a step to reduce this growing trend with the following:
- Treatment options
- Risk factors
Individuals are being encouraged by these organizations to:
- Wear their hearing aids
- Get their hearing checked earlier in their lives
- Identify their level of hearing loss risk
Hearing loss will get worse 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 associated costs down. This will help improve accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that significantly enhance lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to create comprehensive strategies. Lowering the danger of hearing loss in 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 show what safe noise exposure is, and help communities decrease noise exposure for residents. They’re also advancing research into how hearing loss is increased with the use and abuse of opiates.
What You Can do?
Hearing loss is a public health issue so stay informed. Take measures to slow the development of your own hearing loss and share helpful information with people.
If you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss, get a hearing exam. If you find you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.
Stopping hearing loss is the ultimate 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 improve attitudes, actions, and policies.