Scientists think that 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health issue.
When you consider serious hearing loss, thoughts of elderly people may come to mind. But over the last few years, there has been a spike in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Increased hearing loss in all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing epidemic.
Researchers predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double among adults 20 and older. This is viewed as a public health issue by the healthcare community. 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 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 serious hearing loss. Communication is frustrating, fatiguing, and challenging every day. It can cause people to stop doing what they enjoy and disengage from friends and family. When you’re going through severe hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without getting help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that individuals with neglected hearing loss suffer from. They’re much more likely to experience:
- Cognitive decline
- Other severe health problems
- Injuries from recurring falls
They’re also more likely to have difficulties with their personal relationships and might have trouble getting basic needs met.
Individuals who suffer from hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and could also have increased:
- Accident rates
- Disability rates
- Healthcare expenses
- Needs for public support
- Insurance costs
These factors indicate that hearing loss is a significant challenge we should fight as a society.
What’s Contributing to Increased Hearing Loss Across Multiple Age Groups?
The recent rise in hearing loss can be linked to a number of factors. The increased cases of some common diseases that cause hearing loss is one factor, including:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
These conditions and other associated conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re affecting people at earlier ages.
Lifestyle also plays a major role in the increased incidence of hearing loss. In recreational and work areas in particular, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud sound. Modern technology is frequently loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other sounds in more places. It’s often the younger age groups who have the highest degree of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Furthermore, many people are choosing to use earbuds and crank their music up to harmful levels. And a greater number of people are now making use of painkillers, either to manage chronic pain or recreationally. Continued, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been connected with an increased risk of hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss as a Health Issue Being Dealt With by Society?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re educating the public as a step to slow this growing trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
These organizations also encourage individuals to:
- Get their hearing examined earlier in their lives
- Use their hearing aids
- Know their degree 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 greatly enhance lives.
Broad strategies are being developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. Decreasing the danger of hearing loss among underserved communities 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 describe what safe noise exposure is, and work with communities to decrease noise exposure for residents. In addition, they are facilitating research on how opiate use and abuse can raise the danger of hearing loss.
What You Can do?
Keep yourself informed because hearing loss is a public health issue. Share useful information with others and take action to slow the development of your own hearing loss.
If you suspect you might be dealing with hearing loss, get a hearing exam. Be sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you learn that you need them.
The ultimate goal is to avoid all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people understand they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the problems of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to transform attitudes, policies, and actions.