Scientists believe 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more prevalent as hearing loss is a public health issue.
When you consider severe hearing loss, ideas of elderly people might come to mind. But over the last few years, there has been a spike in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Increased hearing loss among all ages further illustrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing crisis.
With adults 20 and up, scientists forecast that hearing loss will increase by 40%. The healthcare community sees this as a major public health problem. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five people is currently experiencing hearing loss so extreme it makes communication difficult.
Hearing loss is rising among all age groups and here is why experts think that is.
Hearing Loss Can Lead to Additional Health Problems
It’s an awful thing to have to go through severe hearing loss. Day-to-day communication becomes challenging, frustrating, and exhausting. It can cause people to stop doing what they love and withdraw from friends and family. If you don’t seek help, it’s nearly impossible to be active while experiencing significant hearing loss.
People with untreated hearing loss are afflicted by more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to develop the following
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Other serious health problems
- Cognitive decline
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal relationships and might have challenges getting basic needs met.
Individuals who suffer from hearing loss are affected in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Insurance rates
- Accident rates
- Disability rates
- Needs for public support
- Healthcare costs
These factors reveal that hearing loss is a significant challenge we should deal with as a society.
What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss in Multiple Generations?
The current rise in hearing loss can be attributed to numerous factors. The increased instances of some common conditions that cause hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
- Cardiovascular disease
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- High blood pressure
More people are suffering from these and associated disorders at younger ages, which adds to added hearing loss.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a lot to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud noises is more common, specifically in work environments and recreational areas. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other noises in more places. It’s often the younger age groups who have the highest degree of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Also, many individuals are cranking the volume of their music up to harmful levels and are wearing earbuds. And more individuals are treating pain with painkillers or taking them recreationally. Opiates, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen will increase your risk of hearing loss especially if used over a long period of time.
How is Hearing Loss as a Health Problem Being Dealt With by Society?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re working to stop this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
Individuals are being prompted by these organizations to:
- Identify their degree of hearing loss risk
- Wear their hearing aids
- Have their hearing examined sooner in their lives
Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these measures.
Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and researchers. Hearing aid related costs are also being tackled. Advanced hearing technology will be increased and lives will be substantially enhanced.
Comprehensive approaches are being developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. They are integrating education, awareness, and health services to reduce the danger of hearing loss among underserved communities.
Local leaders are being made aware of the health impact of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They explain 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.
What You Can do?
Keep yourself informed as hearing loss is a public health issue. Take measures to slow the progression of your own hearing loss and share practical information with others.
Have your own hearing tested if you suspect you’re suffering from hearing loss. Make sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you find that you need them.
Stopping hearing loss is the main 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. This awareness has the power to improve attitudes, policies, and actions.