Hearing loss is presently a public health concern and scientists believe that it will become much more common for individuals in their 20’s to be wearing hearing aids.
Most people think of the elderly when they consider severe hearing loss. But all age groups have seen a recent rise in hearing loss over the last few years. Increased hearing loss among all ages further demonstrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing epidemic.
Researchers predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double in adults 20 and older. The healthcare community views this as a significant public health issue. One out of five people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a hard time communicating because of extreme hearing loss.
Let’s find out why experts are so worried and what’s causing a spike in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Cause Additional Health Concerns
Severe hearing loss is a terrible thing to experience. Communication is aggravating, exhausting, and demanding every day. It can cause people to stop doing what they enjoy and withdraw from family and friends. When you’re suffering from severe hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
People with neglected hearing loss have problems with more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Other severe health conditions
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from repeated falls
They also have difficulty getting their everyday needs met and are more likely to have difficulties with personal relationships.
people who suffer from hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and could also have increased:
- Needs for public support
- Healthcare costs
- Disability rates
- Insurance costs
- Accident rates
These factors reveal that hearing loss is a major challenge we should fight as a society.
Why Are Multiple Generations Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
The current rise in hearing loss can be attributed to a number of factors. The increased instances of some common conditions that cause hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
These conditions and other associated 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. In work and recreational areas in particular, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud noise. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other sounds in more places. Young people who regularly go to the following places have the highest level of hearing loss:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Furthermore, many individuals are choosing to use earbuds and crank their music up to dangerous levels. And a greater number of people are now making use of painkillers, either to address chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will increase your chance of hearing loss particularly if taken over a long period of time.
How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Crisis?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re trying to stop this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
These organizations also urge individuals to:
- Know their degree of hearing loss risk
- Have their hearing tested earlier in their lives
- Use their hearing aids
Hearing loss will worsen with any delay in these measures.
Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are looking for solutions. They’re also seeking ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. Advanced hearing technology will be increased and lives will be significantly enhanced.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to formulate in depth strategies. Decreasing the risk of hearing loss in underserved groups is being addressed with health services, education, and awareness.
Local leaders are being made aware of the health affect of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They describe what safe noise exposure is, and work with communities to decrease noise exposure for residents. Additionally, they are furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can raise the risk of hearing loss.
Can You do Anything?
Hearing loss is a public health issue so keep yourself informed. Share helpful information with other people and take steps to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
If you suspect you might be suffering from hearing loss, have your hearing examined. Be sure you get and use your hearing aids if you discover that you need them.
The main goal is to stop all hearing loss. You’re helping other people who have hearing loss recognize that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re bringing awareness about the issue of hearing loss in your community. This awareness has the power to improve attitudes, actions, and policies.