Scientists think that 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health concern.
When you think of extreme hearing loss, ideas of elderly people may come to mind. But all age groups have had a recent rise in hearing loss during the past few years. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further demonstrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing crisis.
Scientists predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double in adults 20 and older. The healthcare network views this as a significant public health problem. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five people is already suffering from hearing loss so extreme it makes communication challenging.
Let’s look at why experts are so worried and what’s contributing to an increase in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Added Health Problems Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss
It’s an awful thing to have to go through serious hearing loss. Communication is aggravating, fatiguing, and demanding every day. Individuals can often withdraw from their friends and family and stop doing the things they enjoy. If you don’t get help, it’s nearly impossible to be active while enduring severe hearing loss.
People with neglected hearing loss have problems with more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Cognitive decline
- Other acute health problems
They’re also more likely to have problems 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 may also have increased:
- Needs for public assistance
- Insurance costs
- Disability rates
- Healthcare costs
- Accident rates
These factors reveal that hearing loss is a major obstacle we should combat as a society.
Why Are Numerous Generations Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
There are numerous factors contributing to the current increase in hearing loss. One factor is the increased occurrence of common diseases that can cause hearing loss, including:
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
These conditions and other associated conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re affecting people at younger ages.
Lifestyle also plays a major role in the increased prevalence of hearing loss. Exposure to loud noises is more prevalent, particularly in recreation areas and work environments. Modern technology is frequently loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other noises in more places. Young people who regularly go to the following places have the highest level of hearing loss:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Furthermore, many people are choosing to wear earbuds and turn their music up to harmful volumes. And more individuals are treating pain with painkillers or using them recreationally. Prolonged, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been linked to an increased risk of hearing loss.
How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Issue?
Local, national, and world organizations have recognized the issue. They’re doing work to end this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Treatment options
- Risk factors
Individuals are being encouraged by these organizations to:
- Get their hearing tested earlier in their lives
- Use their hearing aids
- Know their level of hearing loss risk
Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these actions.
Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are looking for solutions. Hearing aid associated costs are also being addressed. This will help improve accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that greatly enhance lives.
Broad approaches are being created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. They are incorporating education, awareness, and health services to decrease the danger of hearing loss in underserved groups.
Among their contributions, they’ve developed research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders recognize the health affects of noise. They describe what safe noise exposure is, and help communities minimize noise exposure for residents. In addition, they are furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the danger of hearing loss.
What You Can do?
Hearing loss is a public health issue so stay informed. Take steps to slow the progression of your own hearing loss and share useful information with others.
If you suspect you might be experiencing hearing loss, get a hearing exam. If you learn you need hearing aids, be sure to wear them.
Avoiding hearing loss is the ultimate goal. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people recognize they’re not alone. You’re bringing awareness about the issue of hearing loss in your community. Policies, attitudes, and actions will then be changed by this awareness.