Hearing loss is currently a public health concern and scientists think that it will become much more common for individuals in their 20’s to be using hearing aids.
When you consider severe hearing loss, thoughts of elderly people might come to mind. But all age groups have seen a recent increase in hearing loss over the past few years. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further illustrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing crisis.
Among adults 20 and up, researchers forecast that hearing loss will rise by 40%. The healthcare community sees this as a serious public health concern. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five individuals is already dealing with hearing loss so extreme it makes communication difficult.
Let’s find out why experts are so alarmed and what’s contributing to an increase in hearing loss among all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Trigger Added Health Issues
It’s a horrible thing to have to endure serious hearing loss. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and challenging every day. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they love and withdraw from friends and family. When you’re going through severe hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
Individuals with neglected hearing loss suffer from more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to develop the following
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Cognitive decline
- Other severe health problems
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal relationships and might have trouble getting basic needs met.
people who suffer from hearing loss are affected in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Accident rates
- Needs for public support
- Healthcare costs
- Disability rates
- Insurance costs
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors reveal, hearing loss is a significant challenge.
What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss Across Multiple Generations?
There are a number of factors causing the present increase in hearing loss. One factor is the increased incidence of common diseases that can lead to hearing loss, such as:
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
More people are dealing with these and related disorders at younger ages, which adds to additional hearing loss.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a great deal to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud noises is more common, especially in work environments and recreational areas. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other sounds in more places. It’s frequently the younger age groups who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Moreover, many individuals are cranking the volume of their music up to harmful levels and are using earbuds. And a larger number of people are now using painkillers, either to manage chronic pain or recreationally. Long-term, frequent use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been linked to a higher danger of hearing loss.
How is Society Reacting to Hearing Loss as a Health Problem?
Local, national, and world organizations have taken notice. They’re educating the public as a measure to reduce this growing trend with the following:
- Treatment possibilities
- Risk factors
These organizations also encourage individuals to:
- Get their hearing checked earlier in their lives
- Identify their level of hearing loss risk
- Use their hearing aids
Any delays in these actions make the affect of hearing loss significantly worse.
Researchers, healthcare providers, and government organizations are looking for solutions. They’re also pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. This will help increase accessibility to state-of-the-art hearing technologies that significantly enhance lives.
Comprehensive strategies are being formulated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. Lowering the danger of hearing loss in underserved communities is being tackled 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 work with communities to reduce noise exposure for residents. Additionally, they are furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the chance of hearing loss.
What You Can do?
Hearing loss is a public health problem so keep yourself informed. Take measures to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss and share helpful information with other people.
If you believe you might be dealing with hearing loss, get a hearing exam. Be sure you get and use your hearing aids if you learn that you need them.
Stopping hearing loss is the main goal. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people realize 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.