Hearing loss is currently a public health problem and scientists believe that it will become much more common for individuals in their 20’s to be using hearing aids.
When you consider extreme hearing loss, ideas 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. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging problem it’s a growing epidemic and the rising instances among all age groups demonstrates this.
Researchers predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double among adults 20 and older. The healthcare network views this as a serious public health concern. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five people is currently dealing with hearing loss so severe it makes communication challenging.
Let’s look at why experts are so worried and what’s contributing to a spike in hearing loss among all age groups.
Additional Health Concerns Can be The Consequence of Hearing Loss
Profound hearing loss is an awful thing to cope with. Normal communication becomes difficult, aggravating, and exhausting. Individuals can often withdraw from their friends and family and stop doing the things they enjoy. If you don’t get help, it’s virtually impossible to be active while enduring severe hearing loss.
It’s not only diminished hearing that individuals with untreated hearing loss suffer from. They’re a lot more likely to develop:
- Cognitive decline
- Other severe health problems
- Injuries from recurring falls
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal friendships and might have trouble getting basic needs met.
In combination with the affect on their personal lives, people suffering from hearing loss may face increased:
- Needs for public support
- Insurance costs
- Healthcare expenses
- Accident rates
- Disability rates
These factors reveal that hearing loss is a major challenge we should fight as a society.
What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss Across All Age Groups?
The current increase in hearing loss can be attributed to numerous factors. The increased instances of some common diseases that cause hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Cardiovascular disease
More individuals are suffering from these and related disorders at earlier ages, which contributes to additional hearing loss.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a great deal to do with lifestyle. In work and recreational areas specifically, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud sound. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other noises in more places. Young people who regularly go to the following places have the highest degree of hearing loss:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Furthermore, many people are choosing to use earbuds and turn their music up to dangerous levels. And a larger number of individuals are now making use of painkillers, either to manage chronic pain or recreationally. Prolonged, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been associated 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 trying to end this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
These organizations also encourage individuals to:
- Wear their hearing aids
- Get their hearing tested earlier in their lives
- Identify their level of hearing loss risk
Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these actions.
Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and scientists. They’re also pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. This will help increase 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 comprehensive strategies. Reducing the danger of hearing loss in underserved groups is being tackled with health services, education, and awareness.
Among their contributions, they’ve created 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. Additionally, they’re furthering 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. Share practical information with others and take action to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
Get your own hearing tested if you suspect you’re suffering from hearing loss. Make sure you get and use your hearing aids if you discover that you need them.
The ultimate goal is to avoid all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people recognize they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the difficulties of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to improve attitudes, actions, and policies.