Scientists think that 20-somethings who wear hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health concern.
When you consider serious hearing loss, ideas of elderly people might come to mind. But over the last few years, there has been an increase in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging issue it’s an increasing crisis and the rising cases among all age groups demonstrates this.
With adults 20 and older, scientists forecast that hearing loss will rise by 40%. The healthcare community sees this as a major public health concern. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five individuals is already experiencing hearing loss so extreme it makes communication challenging.
Hearing loss is rising amongst all age groups and here is why experts think that is.
Added Health Concerns Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss
Profound hearing loss is a terrible thing to cope with. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and challenging every day. People can frequently disengage from their family and friends and stop doing the things they enjoy. When you’re experiencing significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
Those with neglected hearing loss have problems with more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to develop the following
- Other acute health conditions
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from repeated falls
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal friendships and may have challenges getting basic needs met.
In combination with the affect on their personal lives, individuals suffering from hearing loss may face increased:
- Disability rates
- Accident rates
- Healthcare expenses
- Insurance rates
- Needs for public support
We need to combat hearing loss as a society because as these factors indicate, hearing loss is a significant obstacle.
Why Are Multiple Age Groups Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?
There are numerous factors contributing to the current rise in hearing loss. One factor is the increased prevalence of common diseases that can lead to hearing loss, such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
These disorders and other associated conditions are contributing to increased hearing loss because they’re affecting people at younger ages.
Lifestyle also plays an important role in the increased prevalence of hearing loss. Exposure to loud noises is more prevalent, especially in recreation areas and work environments. We’re being exposed to loud sounds and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. Young people who regularly go to the following places have the highest degree of hearing loss:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Furthermore, many individuals are choosing to use earbuds and crank their music up to dangerous volumes. And more people are treating pain with painkillers or using them recreationally. Long-term, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been associated with an increased risk of hearing loss.
How is Society Reacting to Hearing Loss as a Health Crisis?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re educating the public as a step to slow this rising trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
Individuals are being prompted by these organizations to:
- Wear their hearing aids
- Know their level of hearing loss risk
- Have their hearing evaluated earlier in their lives
Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these actions.
Researchers, healthcare providers, and government organizations are seeking solutions. Hearing aid related costs are also being addressed. This will help increase accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that greatly improve lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to create in depth strategies. Lowering the danger of hearing loss among underserved communities is being tackled with health services, education, and awareness.
Local leaders are being educated on the health affect 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 advancing research into how hearing loss is increased with the use and abuse of opiates.
What You Can do?
Hearing loss is a public health issue so remain informed. Take measures to slow the progression of your own hearing loss and share helpful information with people.
If you think you may be dealing with hearing loss, get a hearing exam. If you discover you need hearing aids, be sure to wear them.
Preventing hearing loss is the main goal. 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 change attitudes, policies, and actions.