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.
The majority of individuals think of the elderly when they consider extreme hearing loss. But all age groups have had a recent increase in hearing loss over the last few years. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing crisis.
Among adults 20 and older, scientists forecast that hearing loss will rise by 40%. This is seen as a public health issue by the healthcare community. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five people is currently suffering from hearing loss so severe it makes communication challenging.
Let’s look at why experts are so concerned and what’s contributing to a spike in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Additional Health Concerns Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss
Serious hearing loss is a horrible thing to go through. Communication is aggravating, fatiguing, and challenging every day. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they love and withdraw from friends and family. When you’re enduring significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without getting help.
Individuals who have neglected hearing loss are afflicted by more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Other severe health conditions
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal relationships and might have trouble getting basic needs met.
In combination with the affect on their personal lives, people suffering from hearing loss might face increased:
- Needs for public assistance
- Disability rates
- Healthcare costs
- Insurance rates
- Accident rates
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors show, hearing loss is a real obstacle.
What’s Contributing to Increased Hearing Loss Across All Age Groups?
There are a number of factors causing the recent rise in hearing loss. The increased instances of some common diseases that cause hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
More individuals are dealing with these and associated disorders at earlier ages, which adds to added hearing loss.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a lot to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud sounds is more common, specifically in recreation areas and work environments. We’re being exposed to loud sounds and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. It’s frequently the younger people who have the highest level of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Also, many people are turning the volume of their music up to hazardous levels and are wearing earbuds. And more individuals are treating pain with painkillers or using them recreationally. Continued, frequent use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been connected with a higher risk of hearing loss.
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 educating the public as a step to slow this rising trend with the following:
- Treatment possibilities
- Risk factors
These organizations also encourage individuals to:
- Know their degree of hearing loss risk
- Use their hearing aids
- Have their hearing examined earlier in their lives
Any delays in these actions make the impact of hearing loss significantly worse.
Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are looking for solutions. Hearing aid associated costs are also being tackled. This will help increase accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that significantly improve lives.
Comprehensive strategies are being developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. Lowering the risk of hearing loss in underserved communities is being tackled with health services, education, and awareness.
Among their contributions, they’ve created research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders recognize the health impacts of noise. They work with communities to reduce resident’s noise exposure and teach 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 You Can do?
Hearing loss is a public health issue so remain informed. Share beneficial information with other people and take steps to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
If you think 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.
The ultimate goal is to prevent all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people understand they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the problems of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to transform attitudes, actions, and policies.