Hearing loss is presently a public health issue and scientists believe that it will become a lot more common for people in their 20’s to be using hearing aids.
The majority of people think of the elderly when they consider extreme hearing loss. But over the past few years, there has been a spike in hearing loss with all age groups. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further demonstrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing crisis.
Scientists predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double among adults 20 and older. The healthcare network views this as a major public health problem. One out of five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating due to severe hearing loss.
Let’s look at why experts are so worried and what’s causing an increase in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Added Health Issues Can be The Consequence of Hearing Loss
Severe hearing loss is an awful thing to experience. Day-to-day communication becomes challenging, aggravating, and exhausting. People can often disengage from their friends and family and stop doing the things they enjoy. If you don’t get help, it’s almost impossible to be active while experiencing significant hearing loss.
Those who have neglected hearing loss have problems with more than diminished hearing. They’re far more likely to develop:
- Injuries from recurring falls
- Other acute health conditions
- Cognitive decline
They’re also more likely to have difficulties with their personal friendships and may have challenges getting basic needs met.
Along with the affect on their personal lives, people experiencing hearing loss might face increased:
- Insurance costs
- Needs for public assistance
- Disability rates
- Healthcare expenses
- Accident rates
We need to combat hearing loss as a society because as these factors show, hearing loss is a significant obstacle.
Why Are Numerous Age Groups Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
There are numerous factors contributing to the current increase in hearing loss. One factor is the increased incidence of common diseases that can cause hearing loss, including:
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
More individuals are suffering from these and related conditions at younger ages, which leads to added hearing loss.
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. We’re being exposed to loud sounds and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. Young people who regularly go to the following places have the highest level of hearing loss:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
In addition, many people are choosing to use earbuds and crank their music up to harmful levels. And more people are treating pain with painkillers or using them recreationally. Opiates, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen will increase your risk of hearing loss particularly if taken over a extended time periods.
How is Hearing Loss as a Health Issue Being Dealt With by Society?
Local, national, and world organizations have taken notice. They’re educating the public as a measure to slow this rising trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
These organizations also urge individuals to:
- Wear their hearing aids
- Recognize their level of hearing loss risk
- Get their hearing checked earlier in their lives
Any delays in these actions make the affect of hearing loss much worse.
Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and scientists. Hearing aid related costs are also being addressed. This will help improve accessibility to state-of-the-art hearing technologies that significantly improve lives.
Broad approaches are being developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. Decreasing 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 describe what safe noise exposure is, and work with communities to minimize noise exposure for residents. In addition, they’re facilitating research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the danger of hearing loss.
Can You do Anything?
Hearing loss is a public health issue so remain informed. Take steps to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss and share helpful information with people.
Have your own hearing examined if you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss. If you find you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.
Preventing hearing loss is the ultimate goal. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people understand they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the struggles of hearing loss. Policies, attitudes, and actions will then be transformed by this awareness.