Scientists think that 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health issue.
When you consider extreme hearing loss, thoughts of elderly people may come to mind. But over the last few years, there has been a spike in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Increased hearing loss in all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing crisis.
Among adults 20 and up, scientists predict that hearing loss will increase by 40%. The healthcare network views this as a serious public health concern. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five individuals is already dealing with hearing loss so extreme it makes communication challenging.
Let’s find out why experts are so worried and what’s contributing to a spike in hearing loss among all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Cause Further Health Issues
It’s a terrible thing to have to endure severe hearing loss. Communication is aggravating, fatiguing, and demanding every day. People can often disengage from their family and friends and stop doing the things they enjoy. When you’re going through severe hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without getting help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that people with untreated hearing loss suffer from. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Cognitive decline
- Other acute health conditions
They also have trouble getting their basic needs met and are more likely to have difficulties with personal relationships.
In combination with the impact on their personal lives, individuals experiencing hearing loss might face increased:
- Accident rates
- Disability rates
- Healthcare expenses
- Needs for public support
- Insurance rates
These factors indicate that hearing loss is a significant challenge we need to combat as a society.
Why Are Numerous Generations Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?
There are a number of factors contributing to the recent rise in hearing loss. One factor is the increased occurrence of common diseases that can cause hearing loss, such as:
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
These conditions and other associated conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re happening to people at younger ages.
Lifestyle also plays a significant role in the increased incidence of hearing loss. Exposure to loud sounds is more prevalent, especially in recreation areas and work environments. 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:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Also, many individuals are cranking the volume of their music up to harmful volumes and are wearing earbuds. And a greater number of people are now making use of painkillers, either to manage chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen will raise your risk of hearing loss particularly if used over a long time periods.
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 educating the public as a step to reduce this rising trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
These organizations also urge individuals to:
- Use their hearing aids
- Have their hearing examined sooner in their lives
- Recognize their level of hearing loss risk
Hearing loss will become severe with any delay in these measures.
Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are trying to find solutions. They’re also pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. This will help improve accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that greatly improve lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to formulate in depth strategies. Reducing the risk of hearing loss among underserved communities is being addressed with health services, education, and awareness.
Local leaders are being educated on the health impact of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They show what safe noise exposure is, and work with communities to minimize noise exposure for residents. Additionally, they’re facilitating research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the risk of hearing loss.
Can You do Anything?
Hearing loss is a public health issue so remain informed. Share helpful information with others and take action to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
If you think you might be experiencing hearing loss, get a hearing exam. Be sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you find that you need them.
Stopping hearing loss is the main goal. You’re helping other people who have hearing loss recognize 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 changed by this awareness.