Hearing loss is currently a public health problem and scientists believe that it will become much more common for individuals in their 20’s to be using hearing aids.
Most people think of the elderly when they consider extreme hearing loss. But over the last few years, there has been a spike in hearing loss with all age groups. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging issue it’s a growing crisis and the rising cases among all age groups demonstrates this.
Among adults 20 and up, researchers predict that hearing loss will rise by 40%. This is viewed as a public health issue by the healthcare community. One in five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating because of severe 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 Issues Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss
Profound hearing loss is a horrible thing to experience. Day-to-day communication becomes difficult, frustrating, and exhausting. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they enjoy and disengage from family and friends. When you’re experiencing significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
People who have untreated hearing loss have problems with more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to develop the following
- Cognitive decline
- Other acute health conditions
- Injuries from repeated falls
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal friendships and may have trouble getting basic needs met.
Individuals who suffer from hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and could also have increased:
- Accident rates
- Needs for public assistance
- Disability rates
- Insurance rates
- Healthcare costs
These factors indicate that hearing loss is a significant challenge we need to combat as a society.
Why Are Numerous Age Groups Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?
The recent increase in hearing loss can be linked to a number of factors. One factor is the increased prevalence of common conditions that can cause hearing loss, such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
More individuals are experiencing these and related conditions at earlier ages, which contributes to further hearing loss.
Lifestyle also plays a significant role in the increased occurrence of hearing loss. In recreational and work areas in particular, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud noise. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other sounds in more places. It’s often the younger age groups who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Also, many people are cranking the volume of their music up to dangerous volumes and are using earbuds. And more individuals are managing pain with painkillers or taking them recreationally. Continued, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been connected with an increased risk of hearing loss.
How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Problem?
Local, national, and world organizations have recognized the problem. They’re educating the public as a measure to reduce this growing trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
These organizations also motivate individuals to:
- Recognize their level of hearing loss risk
- Use their hearing aids
- Have their hearing tested sooner in their lives
Hearing loss will become severe with any delay in these measures.
Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are seeking solutions. Hearing aid associated costs are also being tackled. This will help increase accessibility to state-of-the-art hearing technologies that significantly improve lives.
Comprehensive approaches are being formulated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. They are incorporating awareness, education, and health services to reduce the danger of hearing loss in underserved communities.
Local leaders are being educated on the health affect of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They explain what safe noise exposure is, and work with communities to reduce noise exposure for residents. They’re also pushing forward research into how hearing loss is raised with the use and abuse of opiates.
Can You do Anything?
Stay informed as hearing loss is a public health problem. Take steps to slow the progression of your own hearing loss and share useful information with other people.
If you believe you might be dealing with hearing loss, have your hearing examined. If you find you need hearing aids, be sure to wear them.
Avoiding hearing loss is the main goal. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people recognize they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the difficulties of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to change attitudes, policies, and actions.