Scientists think that 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health concern.
When you consider severe hearing loss, ideas of elderly people may come to mind. But over the past few years, there has been a surge in hearing loss with all age groups. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further illustrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing epidemic.
Among adults 20 and older, researchers forecast that hearing loss will increase by 40%. This is viewed as a public health concern by the healthcare community. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five people is currently experiencing hearing loss so extreme it makes communication challenging.
Let’s find out why experts are so alarmed and what’s contributing to an increase in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Trigger Added Health Concerns
Profound hearing loss is a horrible thing to go through. Day-to-day communication becomes challenging, frustrating, and exhausting. It can cause individuals 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 seeking help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that individuals with neglected hearing loss suffer from. They’re a lot more likely to experience:
- Other severe health conditions
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from recurring falls
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal friendships and might have challenges getting basic needs met.
Along with the impact on their personal lives, people experiencing hearing loss might face increased:
- Accident rates
- Healthcare expenses
- Disability rates
- Insurance costs
- Needs for public assistance
We need to combat hearing loss as a society because as these factors reveal, hearing loss is a real obstacle.
What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss in All Age Groups?
There are numerous factors causing the recent increase in hearing loss. The increased cases of some common conditions that cause hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Cardiovascular disease
More individuals are experiencing these and related conditions at younger ages, which leads to added hearing loss.
Lifestyle also plays an important role in the increased prevalence of hearing loss. In work and recreational areas particularly, 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 noises in more places. It’s often the younger people who have the highest level of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Additionally, many people are choosing to use earbuds and turn their music up to dangerous volumes. And a greater number of individuals are now making use of painkillers, either to address chronic pain or recreationally. Continued, frequent 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?
Local, national, and world organizations have taken notice. They’re educating the public as a measure to slow this growing trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
Individuals are being encouraged by these organizations to:
- Recognize their degree of hearing loss risk
- Get their hearing examined sooner in their lives
- Wear their hearing aids
Any delays in these actions make the impact of hearing loss significantly worse.
Solutions are being sought by government organizations, healthcare providers, and scientists. Hearing aid related costs are also being tackled. Advanced hearing technology will be increased and lives will be significantly enhanced.
Comprehensive approaches are being developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. They are incorporating awareness, education, and health services to decrease the danger of hearing loss in underserved groups.
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 help communities minimize noise exposure for residents. Additionally, they are furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the danger of hearing loss.
Can You do Anything?
Hearing loss is a public health problem so keep yourself informed. Take steps to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss and share useful information with people.
Get your own hearing examined if you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss. If you find you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.
Stopping hearing loss is the main goal. You’re helping others who are dealing with hearing loss recognize that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re helping your community become more aware of the struggles of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to transform attitudes, policies, and actions.