Scientists believe 20-somethings who wear hearing aids will soon become more prevalent as hearing loss is a public health concern.
When you think of extreme hearing loss, ideas of elderly people may come to mind. But over the past few years, there has been an increase in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging problem it’s an increasing crisis and the rising instances among all age groups illustrates this.
Researchers predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double in adults 20 and older. The healthcare community sees this as a serious public health problem. One in five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a hard time communicating due to extreme hearing loss.
Let’s find out why experts are so worried and what’s causing a spike in hearing loss among all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Lead to Added Health Problems
It’s a terrible thing to have to endure serious hearing loss. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and demanding every day. Individuals can frequently disengage from their family and friends and stop doing the things they love. When you’re experiencing significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
Those with untreated hearing loss suffer from more than diminished hearing. They’re much more likely to develop:
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Cognitive decline
- Other acute health problems
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal relationships and may have trouble getting basic needs met.
Along with the affect on their personal lives, people suffering from hearing loss may face increased:
- Disability rates
- Accident rates
- Needs for public assistance
- Healthcare costs
- Insurance rates
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors reveal, hearing loss is a real obstacle.
Why Are Multiple Generations Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?
The current rise in hearing loss can be attributed to several factors. The increased instances of some common conditions that cause hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
More people are dealing with these and associated conditions at earlier ages, which contributes to additional hearing loss.
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 noises and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. It’s often the younger age groups who have the highest level of noise exposure in:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Moreover, many individuals are cranking the volume of their music up to hazardous volumes and are wearing earbuds. And a larger number of individuals are now using painkillers, either to manage chronic pain or recreationally. Prolonged, frequent use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been linked to a higher risk of hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss as a Health Crisis Being Dealt With by Society?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re educating the public as a step to slow this growing trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
These organizations also encourage individuals to:
- Identify their level of hearing loss risk
- Have their hearing examined earlier 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 scientists. Hearing aid associated costs are also being tackled. 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 develop comprehensive strategies. Lowering the danger of hearing loss in underserved groups is being tackled 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 work with communities to minimize resident’s noise exposure and instruct them on what safe levels of noise are. Additionally, they’re furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can raise the chance of hearing loss.
Can You do Anything?
Stay informed as hearing loss is a public health problem. Take measures to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss and share useful information with other people.
If you suspect you may be dealing with hearing loss, get a hearing exam. If you find 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 see they’re not alone. You’re bringing awareness about the problem of hearing loss in your community. Policies, actions. and attitudes will then be changed by this awareness.