Scientists think that 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more prevalent as hearing loss is a public health concern.
When you think of extreme hearing loss, thoughts of elderly people may come to mind. But over the last few years, there has been a spike in hearing loss with all age groups. Hearing loss obviously isn’t an aging issue it’s a growing epidemic and the rising cases among all age groups illustrates this.
Researchers predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double in adults 20 and older. This is viewed as a public health concern by the healthcare community. One out of five people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a hard time communicating as a result of extreme hearing loss.
Hearing loss is rising amongst all age groups and here is why researchers think that is.
Additional Health Problems Can be The Consequence of Hearing Loss
It’s a terrible thing to have to go through severe hearing loss. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and challenging every day. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they love and disengage from family and friends. If you don’t seek help, it’s nearly impossible to be active while going through severe hearing loss.
It’s not only diminished hearing that people with untreated hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from recurring falls
- Other severe health conditions
They also have difficulty getting their basic needs met and are more likely to have difficulties with personal relationships.
Individuals who experience hearing loss are affected in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Needs for public support
- Disability rates
- Accident rates
- Healthcare expenses
- Insurance rates
These factors reveal that hearing loss is a major challenge we should combat as a society.
What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss Across All Ages?
There are a number of factors contributing to the current increase in hearing loss. The increased cases of some common conditions that cause hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
These disorders and other related conditions are contributing to increased hearing loss because they’re happening to people at earlier ages.
Lifestyle also plays a significant role in the increased incidence of hearing loss. 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 amount of noise exposure in:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Moreover, many individuals are turning the volume of their music up to hazardous volumes and are using earbuds. And a larger number of people are now making use of painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen will increase your risk of hearing loss especially if used over a long time periods.
How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Problem?
Local, national, and world organizations have taken notice. They’re working to prevent this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
Individuals are being encouraged by these organizations to:
- Use their hearing aids
- Identify their degree of hearing loss risk
- Have their hearing evaluated sooner in their lives
Any delays in these activities make the affect of hearing loss much worse.
Solutions are being sought by government organizations, healthcare providers, and scientists. They’re also pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. Advanced hearing technology will be increased and lives will be dramatically enhanced.
Broad strategies 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 decrease the danger of hearing loss among underserved groups.
Among their contributions, they’ve developed research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders recognize the health affects of noise. They work with communities to decrease resident’s noise exposure and instruct them on what safe levels of noise are. They’re also advancing research into how hearing loss is raised with the use and abuse of opiates.
What Can You Do?
Stay informed as hearing loss is a public health problem. Share beneficial information with others and take action to slow the development of your own hearing loss.
Get your own hearing tested if you think you are experiencing hearing loss. If you find you need hearing aids, be sure to wear them.
Avoiding hearing loss is the ultimate goal. You’re helping others who are dealing with hearing loss realize that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re bringing awareness about the issue of hearing loss in your community. Policies, actions. and attitudes will then be transformed by this awareness.