Scientists believe 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health concern.
Most individuals think of the elderly when they consider severe hearing loss. But all age groups have had a recent rise in hearing loss over the last few years. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing crisis.
Among adults 20 and older, researchers forecast that hearing loss will increase by 40%. The healthcare network views this as a serious public health concern. One out of five people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating as a result of extreme hearing loss.
Hearing loss is rising among all age groups and here is why experts think that is.
Added Health Problems Can be The Consequence of Hearing Loss
Severe hearing loss is a horrible thing to go through. Normal communication becomes difficult, frustrating, and exhausting. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they love and disengage from friends and family. When you’re suffering from significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without getting help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that people with untreated hearing loss suffer from. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from recurring falls
- Other serious health conditions
They also have difficulty getting their everyday needs met and are more likely to have difficulties with personal relationships.
Individuals who endure hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Disability rates
- Healthcare costs
- Insurance costs
- Accident rates
- Needs for public assistance
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors indicate, hearing loss is a significant challenge.
Why Are Numerous Age Groups Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?
The recent rise in hearing loss can be linked to a number of factors. One factor is the increased incidence of common diseases that can cause hearing loss, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
More people are dealing with these and associated disorders at earlier ages, which contributes to additional hearing loss.
Lifestyle also plays a major role in the increased incidence of hearing loss. Exposure to loud sounds is more prevalent, especially in work environments and recreational areas. We’re being exposed to loud sounds and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. Young people who frequent the following places have the highest level of hearing loss:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Also, many people are cranking the volume of their music up to harmful volumes and are wearing earbuds. And a larger number of individuals are now using painkillers, either to address chronic pain or recreationally. Long-term, frequent use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been associated with a higher risk of hearing loss.
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 working to prevent this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
These organizations also motivate individuals to:
- Identify their degree of hearing loss risk
- Wear their hearing aids
- Have their hearing examined sooner in their lives
Any delays in these actions make the affect of hearing loss substantially worse.
Solutions are being sought by government organizations, healthcare providers, and scientists. Hearing aid associated costs are also being addressed. State-of-the-art hearing technology will be increased and lives will be dramatically improved.
Comprehensive strategies are being formulated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. Lowering the danger of hearing loss among underserved groups is being addressed with health services, education, and awareness.
Local leaders are being educated on the health impact of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They work with communities to minimize resident’s noise exposure and instruct them on what safe levels of noise are. They’re also advancing research into how hearing loss is raised with the use and abuse of opiates.
Can You do Anything?
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.
Get your own hearing tested if you believe you’re experiencing hearing loss. If you learn you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.
The ultimate goal is to stop all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people see 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.