Scientists believe 20-somethings who wear hearing aids will soon become more prevalent as hearing loss is a public health issue.
Most people think of the elderly when they consider extreme hearing loss. But all age groups have had a recent increase in hearing loss over the last few years. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging problem it’s a growing crisis and the rising cases among all age groups illustrates this.
Researchers 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 in five individuals is currently suffering from hearing loss so extreme it makes communication challenging.
Let’s look at why experts are so worried and what’s causing a spike in hearing loss among all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Cause Further Health Issues
Serious hearing loss is an awful thing to experience. Everyday communication becomes difficult, frustrating, and fatiguing. It can cause people to stop doing what they enjoy and withdraw from family and friends. When you’re experiencing extreme hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without getting help.
Individuals with untreated hearing loss suffer from more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to develop the following
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from recurring falls
- Other serious health problems
They’re also more likely to have difficulties with their personal friendships and might have trouble getting basic needs met.
people who suffer from hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Disability rates
- Healthcare expenses
- Needs for public support
- Insurance costs
- Accident rates
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors demonstrate, hearing loss is a significant challenge.
Why Are Multiple Generations Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
There are several factors contributing to the present increase in hearing loss. One factor is the increased prevalence of common conditions that can cause hearing loss, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Cardiovascular disease
These disorders and other related conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re happening to people at younger ages.
Lifestyle also plays an important role in the increased prevalence of hearing loss. Exposure to loud noises is more prevalent, particularly in work environments and recreational areas. Modern technology is frequently loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other noises in more places. Young people who regularly go to the following places have the highest degree of hearing loss:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Additionally, many individuals are choosing to use earbuds and crank their music up to dangerous levels. And a larger number of individuals are now making use of painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will raise your risk of hearing loss especially if taken over a long period of time.
How is Hearing Loss as a Health Issue Being Dealt With by Society?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re trying to prevent this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
These organizations also urge individuals to:
- Know their degree of hearing loss risk
- Use their hearing aids
- Get their hearing checked earlier in their lives
Hearing loss will become severe 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. Advanced hearing technology will be increased and lives will be significantly enhanced.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to formulate comprehensive strategies. Reducing the risk of hearing loss in underserved groups is being addressed 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?
Keep yourself informed because hearing loss is a public health problem. Share practical information with other people and take action to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
If you believe you might be experiencing hearing loss, have your hearing examined. If you find you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.
The ultimate goal is to prevent all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people recognize they’re not alone. You’re bringing awareness about the problem of hearing loss in your community. This awareness has the power to improve attitudes, policies, and actions.