Hearing loss is currently a public health issue and scientists believe that it will become a lot more common for people in their 20’s to be wearing hearing aids.
Most people think of the elderly when they consider extreme hearing loss. But all age groups have seen a recent increase in hearing loss over the last few years. Hearing loss obviously isn’t an aging problem it’s a growing epidemic and the rising cases among all age groups illustrates this.
Researchers predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double in adults 20 and older. This is seen as a public health issue by the healthcare community. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five people is currently experiencing hearing loss so extreme it makes communication challenging.
Let’s see why experts are so alarmed and what’s causing a spike in hearing loss among all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Trigger Additional Health Concerns
Serious hearing loss is a horrible thing to go through. Day-to-day communication becomes challenging, aggravating, and exhausting. People can frequently disengage from their family and friends and stop doing the things they enjoy. When you’re enduring significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without getting help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that people with neglected hearing loss suffer from. They’re much more likely to experience:
- Cognitive decline
- Other severe health conditions
- Injuries from recurring falls
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal friendships and might have challenges getting basic needs met.
people who experience hearing loss are affected in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Accident rates
- Needs for public support
- Healthcare expenses
- Insurance costs
- Disability rates
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors demonstrate, hearing loss is a real challenge.
What’s Contributing to Increased Hearing Loss in All Generations?
There are a number of factors causing the current rise in hearing loss. The increased cases of some common diseases that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- High blood pressure
More individuals are suffering from these and related conditions at earlier ages, which leads to additional hearing loss.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a lot to do with lifestyle. In work and recreational areas particularly, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud noise. We’re being exposed to loud sounds and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. Young people who frequent the following places have the highest level of hearing loss:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Additionally, many individuals are choosing to use earbuds and turn their music up to harmful levels. And more people are treating pain with painkillers or taking them recreationally. Continued, frequent use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been associated with an increased risk of hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss as a Health Issue Being Dealt With by Society?
Local, national, and world organizations have recognized the problem. They’re educating the public as a step to reduce this rising trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
Individuals are being prompted by these organizations to:
- Identify their degree of hearing loss risk
- Have their hearing evaluated sooner in their lives
- Use their hearing aids
Hearing loss will become severe with any delay in these actions.
Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and researchers. They’re also pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. State-of-the-art hearing technology will be increased and lives will be substantially enhanced.
Comprehensive strategies 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 risk of hearing loss in underserved communities.
Local leaders are being made aware of the health affect of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They describe what safe noise exposure is, and help communities reduce noise exposure for residents. They’re also advancing research into how hearing loss is raised with the use and abuse of opiates.
Can You do Anything?
Keep yourself informed as hearing loss is a public health problem. Share beneficial information with others and take action to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
If you suspect you might be dealing with hearing loss, have your hearing examined. Make sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you discover that you need them.
Stopping hearing loss is the ultimate goal. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people understand they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the problems of hearing loss. Policies, actions. and attitudes will then be transformed by this awareness.