Hearing loss is presently a public health issue and scientists think that it will become much more common for people in their 20’s to be using hearing aids.
Most people think of the elderly when they consider severe hearing loss. But all age groups have had a recent increase in hearing loss over the past few years. Increased hearing loss in all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing crisis.
Scientists predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double among adults 20 and older. This is viewed as a public health issue by the healthcare community. One in five people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating because of severe hearing loss.
Hearing loss is increasing amongst all age groups and here is why researchers think that is.
Hearing Loss Can Lead to Additional Health Problems
It’s a terrible thing to have to go through severe hearing loss. Communication is aggravating, fatiguing, and demanding every day. Individuals can often disengage from their family and friends and stop doing the things they love. When you’re enduring significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
Those with neglected hearing loss are afflicted by more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Injuries from recurring falls
- Other acute health problems
- Cognitive decline
They also have trouble getting their basic needs met and are more likely to have problems with personal relationships.
Individuals who endure hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Healthcare expenses
- Disability rates
- Needs for public assistance
- Accident rates
- Insurance costs
These factors reveal that hearing loss is a significant obstacle we should deal with as a society.
Why Are Multiple Generations Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
The current rise in hearing loss can be linked to numerous factors. One factor is the increased incidence of common diseases that can cause hearing loss, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
More individuals are experiencing these and associated disorders 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. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other noises in more places. Young people who frequent the following places have the highest level of hearing loss:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Moreover, many people are turning the volume of their music up to hazardous volumes and are wearing earbuds. And a greater number of people are now using painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Long-term, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been connected with a higher risk of hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss as a Health Problem Being Dealt With by Society?
Local, national, and world organizations have recognized the problem. They’re trying to prevent this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
Individuals are being encouraged by these organizations to:
- Get their hearing checked sooner in their lives
- Wear their hearing aids
- Know their level of hearing loss risk
Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these measures.
Solutions are being sought 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 advanced hearing technologies that greatly enhance lives.
Broad strategies are being developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. They are integrating awareness, education, and health services to reduce the risk of hearing loss among underserved communities.
Among their efforts, they’ve created research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders understand the health impacts of noise. They describe what safe noise exposure is, and help communities minimize noise exposure for residents. They’re also pushing forward research into how hearing loss is increased with the use and abuse of opiates.
What You Can do?
Hearing loss is a public health issue so remain informed. Take steps to slow the progression of your own hearing loss and share practical information with people.
If you suspect you may be experiencing hearing loss, get a hearing exam. Be sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you discover that you need them.
Stopping hearing loss is the main goal. 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. Policies, attitudes, and actions will then be transformed by this awareness.