Scientists believe 20-somethings who wear hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health issue.
When you think of serious hearing loss, ideas of elderly people might come to mind. But all age groups have had a recent increase in hearing loss during the last 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 in adults 20 and older. The healthcare network sees this as a serious public health issue. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five people is currently suffering from hearing loss so extreme it makes communication difficult.
Hearing loss is rising among all age groups and here is why experts think that is.
Hearing Loss Can Cause Further Health Issues
It’s a terrible thing to have to endure severe hearing loss. Communication is aggravating, exhausting, and challenging every day. It can cause people to stop doing what they enjoy and withdraw from family and friends. When you’re experiencing severe hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without getting help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that individuals with untreated hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re a lot more likely to experience:
- Other acute health problems
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from repeated falls
They’re also more likely to have difficulties with their personal relationships and might have trouble getting basic needs met.
Individuals who suffer from hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and could also have increased:
- Healthcare expenses
- Needs for public support
- Accident rates
- Insurance costs
- Disability rates
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors indicate, hearing loss is a significant challenge.
What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss in All Age Groups?
The current rise in hearing loss can be attributed to a number of factors. One factor is the increased incidence of common diseases that can cause hearing loss, such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
More individuals are suffering from these and related conditions at younger ages, which adds to further hearing loss.
Lifestyle also plays an important role in the increased prevalence of hearing loss. In recreational and work areas specifically, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud sound. We’re being exposed to loud sounds and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. It’s often the younger people who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Moreover, many people are turning the volume of their music up to hazardous volumes and are wearing earbuds. And more people are treating pain with painkillers or taking them recreationally. Long-term, frequent use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been associated with a higher risk of hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss as a Health Crisis Being Dealt With by Society?
Local, national, and world organizations have taken notice. They’re educating the public as a step to reduce this rising trend with the following:
- Treatment possibilities
- Risk factors
These organizations also urge individuals to:
- Get their hearing tested earlier in their lives
- Wear their hearing aids
- Recognize their degree of hearing loss risk
Any delays in these actions make the affect of hearing loss substantially worse.
Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and scientists. Hearing aid related costs are also being addressed. Advanced hearing technology will be increased and lives will be significantly improved.
Comprehensive approaches are being formulated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. They are integrating awareness, education, and health services to decrease the danger of hearing loss among underserved communities.
Among their contributions, they’ve created research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders understand the health affects of noise. They describe what safe noise exposure is, and help communities decrease noise exposure for residents. They’re also pushing forward research into how hearing loss is increased with the use and abuse of opiates.
Can You do Anything?
Hearing loss is a public health issue so remain informed. Share beneficial information with others and take steps to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
Get your own hearing checked if you suspect you’re suffering from hearing loss. If you discover you need hearing aids, be sure to wear them.
The main goal is to prevent all hearing loss. You’re helping others who are dealing with hearing loss understand that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re bringing awareness about the problem of hearing loss in your community. This awareness has the power to change attitudes, policies, and actions.