Hearing loss is presently a public health issue and scientists believe that it will become much more common for individuals in their 20’s to be using hearing aids.
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 past few years. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing crisis.
Scientists predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double among adults 20 and older. This is viewed as a public health concern by the healthcare community. One in five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating because of extreme hearing loss.
Let’s see why experts are so concerned and what’s causing a spike in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Lead to Further Health Problems
Profound hearing loss is a horrible thing to experience. Communication is aggravating, fatiguing, and demanding every day. People can frequently disengage from their family and friends and stop doing the things they love. If you don’t get help, it’s nearly impossible to be active while suffering from severe hearing loss.
Those with untreated hearing loss have problems with more than diminished hearing. They’re much more likely to experience:
- Cognitive decline
- Other acute health conditions
- Injuries from recurring falls
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal friendships and may have trouble getting basic needs met.
people who suffer from hearing loss are affected in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Needs for public assistance
- Insurance rates
- Accident rates
- Healthcare costs
- Disability rates
These factors indicate that hearing loss is a significant obstacle we need to deal with as a society.
Why Are Numerous Age Groups Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?
The current rise in hearing loss can be linked to numerous factors. One factor is the increased prevalence of common diseases that can lead to hearing loss, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Cardiovascular disease
These disorders and other associated conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re happening to people at younger ages.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a lot to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud sounds is more prevalent, especially in recreation areas and work environments. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other sounds in more places. It’s frequently the younger people who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Additionally, many people are choosing to use earbuds and turn their music up to dangerous levels. And a greater number of people are now using painkillers, either to address chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will increase your chance of hearing loss particularly if taken over a long period of time.
How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Problem?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re working to prevent this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
These organizations also encourage individuals to:
- Have their hearing tested sooner in their lives
- Know their level of hearing loss risk
- Wear their hearing aids
Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these actions.
Solutions are being sought by government organizations, healthcare providers, and researchers. Hearing aid related costs are also being tackled. Advanced hearing technology will be increased and lives will be substantially improved.
Comprehensive strategies are being developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. They are incorporating awareness, education, and health services to reduce the risk of hearing loss among underserved groups.
Local leaders are being made aware of the health impact of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They work with communities to reduce resident’s noise exposure and instruct them on what safe levels of noise are. Additionally, they are furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the chance of hearing loss.
Can You do Anything?
Keep yourself informed as hearing loss is a public health issue. Share beneficial information with others and take steps to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
If you believe you might be suffering from hearing loss, have your hearing examined. Make sure you get and use your hearing aids if you find that you need them.
The main goal is to prevent all hearing loss. You’re helping others who have hearing loss understand that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re bringing awareness about the issue of hearing loss in your community. Policies, attitudes, and actions will then be transformed by this awareness.