Scientists think that 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more prevalent as hearing loss is a public health issue.
When you think of severe hearing loss, ideas of elderly people might come to mind. But all age groups have seen a recent increase in hearing loss over the last few years. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further illustrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing crisis.
Scientists predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double among adults 20 and older. This is seen as a public health concern by the healthcare community. One out of five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating due to severe hearing loss.
Hearing loss is increasing among all age groups and here is why experts think that is.
Hearing Loss Can Lead to Added Health Problems
Profound hearing loss is a terrible thing to experience. Communication is aggravating, exhausting, and demanding every day. Individuals can frequently disengage from their friends and family and stop doing the things they enjoy. If you don’t seek help, it’s virtually impossible to be active while enduring significant hearing loss.
It’s not only diminished hearing that individuals with untreated hearing loss suffer from. They’re a lot more likely to experience:
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Other acute health conditions
- Cognitive decline
They also have trouble getting their everyday needs met and are more likely to have problems with personal relationships.
Individuals who endure hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Disability rates
- Insurance costs
- Healthcare costs
- Needs for public assistance
- Accident rates
These factors indicate that hearing loss is a significant obstacle we need to fight as a society.
Why Are Numerous Generations Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
There are numerous factors contributing to the present rise in hearing loss. The increased instances of some common conditions that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
These disorders and other associated conditions are contributing to increased hearing loss because they’re affecting people at younger ages.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a great deal to do with lifestyle. In recreational and work areas specifically, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud sound. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other noises in more places. Young people who frequent the following places have the highest level of hearing loss:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Also, many people are turning the volume of their music up to dangerous levels and are using earbuds. And a greater number of individuals 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 taken over a long period of time.
How is Hearing Loss as a Health Crisis Being Dealt With by Society?
Local, national, and world organizations have taken notice. They’re educating the public as a step to reduce this growing trend with the following:
- Treatment options
- Risk factors
Individuals are being prompted by these organizations to:
- Have their hearing evaluated sooner in their lives
- Identify their degree of hearing loss risk
- Use their hearing aids
Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these actions.
Researchers, healthcare providers, and government organizations are trying to find solutions. Hearing aid related costs are also being addressed. Advanced hearing technology will be increased and lives will be substantially enhanced.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to develop comprehensive strategies. Reducing the risk of hearing loss among underserved communities is being tackled with health services, education, and awareness.
Among their contributions, they’ve formulated research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders understand the health affects of noise. They explain what safe noise exposure is, and work with communities to decrease noise exposure for residents. Additionally, they’re facilitating research on how opiate use and abuse can raise the risk of hearing loss.
What You Can do?
Hearing loss is a public health issue so keep yourself informed. Take steps to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss and share helpful information with other people.
If you think you may be experiencing hearing loss, have your hearing examined. Be sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you find that you need them.
The main goal is to stop all hearing loss. You’re helping other people who have hearing loss understand that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re bringing awareness about the problem of hearing loss in your community. Policies, actions. and attitudes will then be transformed by this awareness.