Scientists think that 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health issue.
When you consider severe hearing loss, thoughts of elderly people might come to mind. But over the past few years, there has been a surge in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Increased hearing loss among all ages further demonstrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing epidemic.
Scientists predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double among adults 20 and older. The healthcare community views this as a major public health concern. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five individuals is currently experiencing hearing loss so severe it makes communication difficult.
Let’s see why experts are so alarmed and what’s causing a spike in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Additional Health Problems Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss
It’s an awful thing to have to go through severe hearing loss. Everyday communication becomes challenging, frustrating, and fatiguing. Individuals can frequently disengage from their family and friends and stop doing the things they enjoy. When you’re suffering from significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without getting help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that individuals with untreated hearing loss suffer from. They’re far more likely to develop:
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Other severe health problems
They also have difficulty 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
- Healthcare expenses
- Insurance costs
- Needs for public support
- Disability rates
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors indicate, hearing loss is a real obstacle.
Why Are Numerous Age Groups Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?
There are numerous factors causing the current rise in hearing loss. The increased cases of some common diseases that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Cardiovascular disease
These conditions and other related conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re affecting people at earlier ages.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a great deal to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud noises is more prevalent, specifically in work environments and recreational areas. We’re being exposed to loud sounds and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. It’s frequently the younger age groups who have the highest level of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Furthermore, many individuals are choosing to use earbuds and crank their music up to harmful levels. And more individuals are treating pain with painkillers or using them recreationally. Long-term, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been connected with an increased danger of hearing loss.
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 doing work to end this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Treatment options
- Risk factors
Individuals are being prompted by these organizations to:
- Have their hearing examined earlier in their lives
- Recognize their level of hearing loss risk
- Use their hearing aids
Any delays in these actions make the affect of hearing loss substantially worse.
Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and researchers. They’re also pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. This will help improve accessibility to state-of-the-art hearing technologies that greatly improve lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to develop in depth strategies. They are integrating education, awareness, and health services to decrease the danger of hearing loss among underserved groups.
Among their contributions, they’ve created research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders understand the health impacts of noise. They explain what safe noise exposure is, and help communities minimize noise exposure for residents. They’re also advancing research into how hearing loss is increased with the use and abuse of opiates.
Can You do Anything?
Stay informed because hearing loss is a public health problem. Take measures to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss and share practical information with others.
Get your own hearing examined if you think you’re dealing with hearing loss. Be sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you find that you need them.
The final goal is to avoid all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people understand they’re not alone. You’re bringing awareness about the issue of hearing loss in your community. This awareness has the power to transform attitudes, actions, and policies.