Scientists believe 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health concern.
When you think of serious hearing loss, ideas of elderly people might come to mind. But over the past few years, there has been a surge in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Increased hearing loss among all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing epidemic.
Among adults 20 and up, researchers predict that hearing loss will increase by 40%. This is viewed as a public health problem by the healthcare community. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five people is already dealing with hearing loss so extreme it makes communication challenging.
Hearing loss is increasing amongst all age groups and here is why researchers think that is.
Hearing Loss Can Trigger Additional Health Issues
Profound hearing loss is a horrible thing to experience.. Day-to-day communication becomes challenging, aggravating, and exhausting. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they love and withdraw from friends and family. When you’re enduring extreme hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
Those with untreated hearing loss are afflicted by more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Other serious health conditions
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Cognitive decline
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal friendships and might have trouble getting basic needs met.
In combination with the impact on their personal lives, people going through hearing loss might face increased:
- Insurance rates
- Needs for public assistance
- Accident rates
- Healthcare costs
- Disability rates
These factors indicate that hearing loss is a major obstacle we should fight as a society.
Why Are Multiple Generations Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
The current rise in hearing loss can be linked to several factors. One factor is the increased incidence of common conditions that can cause hearing loss, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Cardiovascular disease
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
More individuals are suffering from these and related disorders at earlier ages, which contributes to further hearing loss.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a lot to do with lifestyle. In work and recreational areas in particular, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud noise. Modern technology is frequently loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other sounds in more places. Young people who frequent the following places have the highest degree of hearing loss:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
In addition, many people are choosing to use earbuds and crank their music up to dangerous volumes. And a greater number of individuals are now using painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen will increase your risk of hearing loss especially if used over a long time periods.
How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Problem?
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:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
These organizations also encourage individuals to:
- Have their hearing evaluated sooner in their lives
- Know their degree of hearing loss risk
- Use their hearing aids
Hearing loss will become severe with any delay in these measures.
Researchers, healthcare providers, and government organizations are trying to find solutions. They’re also seeking ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. State-of-the-art hearing technology will be increased and lives will be significantly enhanced.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to develop comprehensive strategies. They are combining awareness, education, and health services to lower the risk of hearing loss in underserved communities.
Local leaders are being made aware of the health affect 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. In addition, they’re facilitating research on how opiate use and abuse can raise the danger of hearing loss.
What You Can do?
Keep yourself informed as hearing loss is a public health issue. Share helpful information with other people and take steps to slow the development of your own hearing loss.
Get your own hearing tested if you suspect you are suffering from hearing loss. Make sure you get and use your hearing aids if you learn that you need them.
Preventing hearing loss is the main goal. 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, actions. and attitudes will then be transformed by this awareness.