Hearing loss is currently a public health issue and scientists think that it will become much more common for people in their 20’s to be wearing hearing aids.
When you consider serious hearing loss, ideas of elderly people may come to mind. But over the last few years, there has been a spike in hearing loss with all age groups. Increased hearing loss among all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing epidemic.
Researchers predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double in adults 20 and older. The healthcare community views this as a significant public health concern. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five individuals is currently dealing with hearing loss so severe it makes communication challenging.
Let’s look at why experts are so concerned and what’s causing an increase in hearing loss among all age groups.
Added Health Concerns Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss
It’s a terrible thing to have to endure severe hearing loss. Everyday communication becomes challenging, frustrating, and fatiguing. Individuals can frequently disengage from their family and friends and stop doing the things they enjoy. If you don’t seek help, it’s almost impossible to be active while suffering from severe hearing loss.
It’s not only diminished hearing that individuals with neglected hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Other severe health conditions
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Cognitive decline
They’re also more likely to have difficulties with their personal friendships and might have trouble getting basic needs met.
Individuals who suffer from hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Accident rates
- Disability rates
- Insurance rates
- Healthcare costs
- Needs for public support
We need to combat hearing loss as a society because as these factors show, hearing loss is a significant challenge.
What’s Contributing to Increased Hearing Loss Across All Age Groups?
The recent rise in hearing loss can be attributed to several factors. One factor is the increased prevalence of common conditions that can cause hearing loss, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- High blood pressure
These disorders and other related conditions are contributing to increased hearing loss because they’re affecting people at earlier ages.
Lifestyle also plays an important role in the increased occurrence of hearing loss. In recreational and work areas particularly, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud sound. Modern technology is frequently 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:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
In addition, many people are choosing to wear earbuds and crank their music up to harmful volumes. And more individuals are treating pain with painkillers or taking them recreationally. Prolonged, frequent 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 Crisis Being Dealt With by Society?
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 options
- Risk factors
Individuals are being encouraged by these organizations to:
- Wear their hearing aids
- Know their level of hearing loss risk
- Have their hearing examined sooner in their lives
Any delays in these actions make the impact of hearing loss a lot worse.
Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and researchers. They’re also pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. This will help improve accessibility to state-of-the-art hearing technologies that greatly improve lives.
Comprehensive strategies are being created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. Decreasing the danger of hearing loss in underserved groups is being tackled with health services, education, and awareness.
Local leaders are being educated on 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 reduce noise exposure for residents. In addition, they’re furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the chance of hearing loss.
Can You do Anything?
Hearing loss is a public health issue so stay informed. Take measures to slow the progression of your own hearing loss and share helpful information with other people.
If you think you might be experiencing hearing loss, get a hearing exam. If you discover you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.
Avoiding hearing loss is the ultimate goal. You’re helping others who have hearing loss recognize that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re helping your community become more aware of the challenges of hearing loss. Policies, attitudes, and actions will then be transformed by this awareness.