Hearing loss is currently a public health concern and scientists think that it will become much more common for people in their 20’s to be using hearing aids.
When you think of serious hearing loss, thoughts of elderly people might come to mind. But all age groups have had a recent increase in hearing loss over the last few years. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging issue it’s an increasing epidemic and the rising cases among all age groups illustrates this.
Among adults 20 and older, researchers forecast that hearing loss will rise by 40%. The healthcare community views this as a serious public health problem. One in five people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a hard time communicating due to extreme hearing loss.
Let’s find out why experts are so worried and what’s causing an increase in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Added Health Concerns Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss
Serious hearing loss is a horrible thing to experience. Communication is frustrating, fatiguing, and demanding every day. It can cause people to stop doing what they enjoy and withdraw from friends and family. If you don’t get help, it’s virtually impossible to be active while suffering from severe hearing loss.
Individuals who have neglected hearing loss have problems with more than diminished hearing. They’re much more likely to experience:
- Cognitive decline
- Other acute health conditions
- Injuries from recurring falls
They also have difficulty getting their everyday needs met and are more likely to have problems with personal relationships.
Along with the affect on their personal lives, people going through hearing loss may face increased:
- Disability rates
- Healthcare costs
- Needs for public assistance
- Accident rates
- Insurance costs
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors demonstrate, hearing loss is a real challenge.
Why Are Numerous Generations Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?
There are numerous factors causing the recent rise in hearing loss. The increased cases of some common diseases that cause hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Cardiovascular disease
These disorders and other related conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re happening to people at earlier ages.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a lot to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud noises is more common, specifically 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 level of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
In addition, many people are choosing to wear earbuds and crank their music up to harmful levels. And more people are managing pain with painkillers or using them recreationally. Prolonged, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been associated with a higher danger of hearing loss.
How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Issue?
Local, national, and world organizations have taken notice. 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 urged by these organizations to:
- Use their hearing aids
- Know their degree of hearing loss risk
- Have their hearing checked sooner in their lives
Hearing loss will worsen with any delay in these actions.
Researchers, healthcare providers, and government organizations are seeking solutions. Hearing aid related costs are also being tackled. 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 comprehensive strategies. Reducing the risk of hearing loss in underserved communities is being tackled with health services, education, and awareness.
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 instruct them on what safe levels of noise are. In addition, they’re facilitating research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the risk of hearing loss.
What You Can do?
Stay informed as hearing loss is a public health problem. Share helpful information with others and take steps to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
If you suspect you may be dealing with hearing loss, get a hearing exam. If you learn you need hearing aids, be sure to wear them.
Preventing hearing loss is the main goal. 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 difficulties of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to improve attitudes, actions, and policies.