Hearing loss is currently a public health concern and scientists believe that it will become much more common for individuals in their 20’s to be wearing hearing aids.
When you consider serious hearing loss, ideas of elderly people might come to mind. But all age groups have seen a recent rise in hearing loss during the last few years. Increased hearing loss in all ages further demonstrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing epidemic.
Scientists predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double among adults 20 and older. This is seen as a public health problem by the healthcare community. One out of five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating because of severe hearing loss.
Let’s see why experts are so alarmed and what’s contributing to an increase in hearing loss among all age groups.
Additional Health Issues Can be The Consequence of Hearing Loss
Profound hearing loss is a horrible thing to experience. Communication is frustrating, fatiguing, and challenging every day. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they love and withdraw from friends and family. If you don’t seek help, it’s almost impossible to be active while suffering from severe hearing loss.
It’s not only diminished hearing that people with neglected hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re much more likely to develop:
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Other acute health problems
- Cognitive decline
They’re also more likely to have difficulties with their personal relationships and might have challenges getting basic needs met.
Individuals who suffer from hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and could also have increased:
- Needs for public support
- Disability rates
- Accident rates
- Healthcare costs
- Insurance costs
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors indicate, hearing loss is a significant obstacle.
What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss Across Multiple Age Groups?
The current rise in hearing loss can be linked to several factors. The increased cases of some common illnesses that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
More people are experiencing these and related conditions at younger ages, which leads to further hearing loss.
Lifestyle also plays a significant role in the increased prevalence of hearing loss. In work and recreational areas specifically, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud noise. Modern technology is frequently loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other noises in more places. It’s frequently the younger people who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Moreover, many people are turning the volume of their music up to hazardous levels and are using earbuds. And a larger number of people are now using painkillers, either to manage chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will increase your risk of hearing loss especially if used over a long time periods.
How is Society Reacting to Hearing Loss as a Health Crisis?
Local, national, and world organizations have taken notice. They’re educating the public as a measure to reduce this growing trend with the following:
- Treatment options
- Risk factors
These organizations also encourage individuals to:
- Have their hearing checked earlier in their lives
- Wear their hearing aids
- Identify their degree of hearing loss risk
Hearing loss will worsen with any delay in these actions.
Researchers, healthcare providers, and government organizations are seeking solutions. They’re also seeking ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. This will help increase accessibility to state-of-the-art hearing technologies that greatly improve lives.
Comprehensive 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 lower the risk of hearing loss in underserved communities.
Among their contributions, they’ve developed research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders understand the health impacts of noise. They explain what safe noise exposure is, and work with communities to reduce noise exposure for residents. They’re also advancing research into how hearing loss is increased with the use and abuse of opiates.
Can You do Anything?
Hearing loss is a public health problem so stay informed. Share useful information with other people and take steps to slow the development of your own hearing loss.
If you suspect you might be suffering from hearing loss, get a hearing exam. If you discover you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.
Stopping hearing loss is the main goal. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people realize they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the challenges of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to change attitudes, policies, and actions.