Scientists think that 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more prevalent as hearing loss is a public health concern.
When you think of extreme 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. Hearing loss obviously isn’t an aging issue it’s a growing epidemic and the rising instances among all age groups illustrates this.
Scientists predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double in adults 20 and older. This is viewed as a public health concern by the healthcare community. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five people is already dealing with hearing loss so extreme 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.
Hearing Loss Can Cause Further Health Problems
It’s a horrible thing to have to endure profound hearing loss. Communication is frustrating, fatiguing, and demanding every day. Individuals can frequently withdraw from their friends and family and stop doing the things they enjoy. When you’re experiencing significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that people with neglected hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re a lot more likely to experience:
- Other acute health problems
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from recurring falls
They’re also more likely to have difficulties with their personal friendships and may have challenges getting basic needs met.
In addition to the affect on their personal lives, individuals suffering from hearing loss might face increased:
- Healthcare expenses
- Disability rates
- Needs for public assistance
- Accident rates
- Insurance costs
These factors indicate that hearing loss is a significant challenge we should fight as a society.
Why Are Multiple Age Groups Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
There are numerous factors causing the current rise in hearing loss. One factor is the increased prevalence of common diseases that can lead to hearing loss, including:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
These conditions and other related conditions are contributing to increased hearing loss because they’re affecting people at younger ages.
Lifestyle also plays a significant role in the increased incidence of hearing loss. Exposure to loud noises is more common, specifically in recreation areas and work environments. We’re being exposed to loud noises and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. It’s often the younger people who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Also, many individuals are turning the volume of their music up to harmful levels and are wearing earbuds. And a greater number of people are now using painkillers, either to manage chronic pain or recreationally. Continued, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been associated with a higher risk of hearing loss.
How is Society Reacting to Hearing Loss as a Health Problem?
Local, national, and world organizations have taken notice. They’re educating the public as a measure to slow this rising trend with the following:
- Treatment options
- Risk factors
These organizations also urge individuals to:
- Get their hearing examined earlier in their lives
- Identify their degree of hearing loss risk
- Wear their hearing aids
Any delays in these activities make the affect of hearing loss a lot worse.
Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and researchers. They’re also seeking ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. State-of-the-art hearing technology will be increased and lives will be significantly improved.
Broad approaches are being created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. Lowering the risk of hearing loss in underserved groups is being tackled with health services, education, and awareness.
Local leaders are being made aware of the health impact 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. They’re also pushing forward research into how hearing loss is raised with the use and abuse of opiates.
What You Can do?
Stay informed because hearing loss is a public health problem. Share practical information with other people and take action to slow the development of your own hearing loss.
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. You’re helping others 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, attitudes, and actions will then be transformed by this awareness.