Hearing loss is currently a public health problem and scientists think that it will become much more common for people in their 20’s to be wearing hearing aids.
When you consider serious hearing loss, ideas of elderly people may come to mind. But all age groups have seen a recent increase in hearing loss during the last few years. Increased hearing loss in all ages further demonstrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing epidemic.
Among adults 20 and up, scientists predict that hearing loss will increase by 40%. The healthcare community views this as a significant public health problem. One in five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating due to extreme hearing loss.
Hearing loss is increasing amongst all age groups and here is why researchers think that is.
Hearing Loss Can Cause Additional Health Concerns
Profound hearing loss is a horrible thing to cope with. Communication is frustrating, fatiguing, and challenging every day. People can often disengage from their friends and family and stop doing the things they love. If you don’t get help, it’s virtually impossible to be active while experiencing significant hearing loss.
Individuals who have untreated hearing loss are afflicted by more than diminished hearing. They’re far more likely to develop:
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Cognitive decline
- Other serious health conditions
They also have trouble getting their basic needs met and are more likely to have difficulties with personal relationships.
Individuals who experience hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and could also have increased:
- Healthcare expenses
- Insurance costs
- Accident rates
- Disability rates
- Needs for public assistance
These factors reveal that hearing loss is a significant challenge we need to deal with as a society.
What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss in All Generations?
The recent increase in hearing loss can be linked to a number of factors. The increased cases of some common illnesses that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
These conditions and other associated conditions are contributing to increased hearing loss because they’re happening to people at younger ages.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a lot to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud sounds is more prevalent, particularly in work environments and recreational areas. Modern technology is frequently loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other sounds in more places. It’s often the younger people who have the highest level of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Additionally, many individuals are choosing to use earbuds and turn their music up to dangerous levels. And a larger number of people are now using painkillers, either to manage chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will increase your risk of hearing loss especially if used over a long time periods.
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 educating the public as a measure to reduce this rising trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
These organizations also encourage individuals to:
- Use their hearing aids
- Get their hearing examined sooner in their lives
- Recognize their level of hearing loss risk
Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these measures.
Solutions are being sought by government organizations, healthcare providers, and scientists. They’re also looking for ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. State-of-the-art hearing technology will be increased and lives will be significantly enhanced.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to formulate comprehensive strategies. Lowering the danger of hearing loss among underserved communities is being addressed with health services, education, and awareness.
Among their contributions, they’ve developed research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders understand the health affects of noise. They show what safe noise exposure is, and work with communities to reduce noise exposure for residents. In addition, they are facilitating research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the danger of hearing loss.
What You Can do?
Hearing loss is a public health problem so stay informed. Take measures to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss and share useful information with people.
If you suspect you might be dealing with hearing loss, have your hearing examined. Be sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you learn that you need them.
Avoiding hearing loss is the main goal. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people see they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the challenges of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to change attitudes, policies, and actions.