Scientists believe 20-somethings who wear hearing aids will soon become more prevalent as hearing loss is a public health concern.
When you think of severe hearing loss, thoughts of elderly people might come to mind. But all age groups have seen a recent rise in hearing loss over the past few years. Increased hearing loss among all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing crisis.
Researchers predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double among adults 20 and older. This is viewed as a public health issue by the healthcare community. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five individuals is currently suffering from hearing loss so severe it makes communication challenging.
Let’s look at why experts are so worried and what’s causing an increase in hearing loss among all age groups.
Additional Health Issues Can be The Consequence of Hearing Loss
It’s a horrible thing to have to endure severe hearing loss. Day-to-day communication becomes challenging, aggravating, and exhausting. It can cause people to stop doing what they love and withdraw from friends and family. When you’re suffering from significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that individuals with untreated hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re a lot more likely to experience:
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Cognitive decline
- Other serious health problems
They also have trouble getting their basic needs met and are more likely to have difficulties with personal relationships.
In combination with the impact on their personal lives, individuals experiencing hearing loss may face increased:
- Healthcare costs
- Accident rates
- Disability rates
- Needs for public assistance
- Insurance rates
These factors show that hearing loss is a major obstacle we need to combat as a society.
Why Are Numerous Age Groups Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?
There are several factors contributing to the current rise in hearing loss. The increased instances of some common diseases that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
More individuals are dealing with these and related conditions at younger ages, which adds to further hearing loss.
Lifestyle also plays a significant role in the increased prevalence of hearing loss. Exposure to loud noises is more common, specifically in work environments and recreational areas. 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 degree of hearing loss:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
In addition, many people are choosing to use earbuds and turn their music up to harmful levels. And a larger number of people are now making use of painkillers, either to manage chronic pain or recreationally. Continued, frequent use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been linked to a higher danger of hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss as a Health Problem Being Dealt With by Society?
Local, national, and world organizations have recognized the issue. They’re educating the public as a measure to reduce this growing trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
These organizations also motivate individuals to:
- Use their hearing aids
- Have their hearing checked earlier in their lives
- Recognize their level of hearing loss risk
Hearing loss will become severe with any delay in these actions.
Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are seeking solutions. They’re also looking for ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. This will help improve accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that greatly enhance lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to create in depth strategies. They are integrating awareness, education, and health services to decrease the risk of hearing loss in underserved communities.
Local leaders are being educated on the health affect of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They work with communities to reduce resident’s noise exposure and teach what safe levels of noise are. Additionally, they are furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can raise the danger of hearing loss.
What You Can do?
Stay informed because hearing loss is a public health issue. Take measures to slow the development of your own hearing loss and share practical information with others.
Get your own hearing checked if you believe you are dealing with hearing loss. If you learn you need hearing aids, be sure to wear them.
The main goal is to stop all hearing loss. You’re helping other people who are dealing with hearing loss understand that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re helping your community become more aware of the problems of hearing loss. Policies, actions. and attitudes will then be changed by this awareness.