Scientists think that 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more prevalent as hearing loss is a public health concern.
Most individuals think of the elderly when they consider severe hearing loss. But all age groups have had a recent rise in hearing loss during the last few years. Increased hearing loss in all ages further illustrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing crisis.
With adults 20 and older, scientists forecast that hearing loss will increase by 40%. The healthcare network views this as a major public health issue. One out of five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating as a result of severe hearing loss.
Let’s see why experts are so alarmed and what’s causing a spike in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Trigger Additional Health Issues
Serious hearing loss is a terrible thing to experience. Communication is frustrating, fatiguing, and demanding every day. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they love and withdraw from friends and family. When you’re suffering from severe hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without getting help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that people with neglected hearing loss suffer from. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Injuries from recurring falls
- Cognitive decline
- Other serious health problems
They’re also more likely to have difficulties with their personal relationships and may have trouble getting basic needs met.
Individuals who endure hearing loss are affected in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Insurance rates
- Accident rates
- Disability rates
- Healthcare expenses
- Needs for public support
We need to combat hearing loss as a society because as these factors reveal, hearing loss is a real obstacle.
Why Are Multiple Age Groups Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
There are several factors causing the current increase in hearing loss. The increased cases of some common illnesses that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
These disorders and other associated conditions are contributing to increased hearing loss because they’re happening to people at younger ages.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a lot to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud noises is more common, particularly in recreation areas and work environments. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other sounds in more places. It’s frequently the younger people who have the highest amount 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 levels. And more people are managing pain with painkillers or using them recreationally. Opiates, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen will raise your risk of hearing loss especially if used over a long period of time.
How is Society Reacting to Hearing Loss as a Health Issue?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re trying to end this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Treatment possibilities
- Risk factors
These organizations also urge individuals to:
- Wear their hearing aids
- Know their degree of hearing loss risk
- Have their hearing checked earlier in their lives
Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these actions.
Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are trying to find solutions. Hearing aid related costs are also being addressed. State-of-the-art hearing technology will be increased and lives will be significantly improved.
Comprehensive approaches are being created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. Decreasing the danger of hearing loss in underserved groups is being addressed with health services, education, and awareness.
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 teach what safe levels of noise are. Additionally, they are furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can raise the risk of hearing loss.
Can You do Anything?
Hearing loss is a public health problem so keep yourself informed. Share practical information with other people and take action to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
Have your own hearing examined if you think you’re dealing with hearing loss. If you discover you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.
The final goal is to stop all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people see they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the challenges of hearing loss. Policies, attitudes, and actions will then be changed by this awareness.