Hearing loss is currently a public health problem and scientists believe that it will become a lot more common for individuals in their 20’s to be wearing hearing aids.
When you consider severe hearing loss, ideas of elderly people may come to mind. But over the last few years, there has been a surge in hearing loss with all age groups. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging problem it’s a growing crisis and the rising cases among all age groups illustrates this.
Among adults 20 and older, researchers predict that hearing loss will rise by 40%. This is seen as a public health problem by the healthcare community. One in five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating as a result of extreme hearing loss.
Let’s look at why experts are so alarmed and what’s causing a spike in hearing loss among all age groups.
Added Health Problems Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss
Serious hearing loss is a horrible thing to cope with. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and demanding every day. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they love and disengage from friends and family. When you’re going through significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that individuals with untreated hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Cognitive decline
- Other severe health problems
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal friendships and might have challenges getting basic needs met.
people who suffer from hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Disability rates
- Healthcare costs
- Insurance rates
- Needs for public assistance
- Accident rates
These factors indicate that hearing loss is a significant obstacle we need to fight as a society.
What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss Across Multiple Ages?
There are a number of factors contributing to the present increase in hearing loss. One factor is the increased incidence of common conditions that can cause hearing loss, such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
These conditions and other related conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re affecting people at younger ages.
Lifestyle also plays an important role in the increased incidence of hearing loss. In work and recreational areas in particular, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud sound. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other noises in more places. It’s often the younger age groups who have the highest degree of noise exposure in:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Furthermore, many people are choosing to use earbuds and turn their music up to dangerous levels. And a larger number of individuals are now making use of painkillers, either to address chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen will increase your chance of hearing loss especially if used over a extended period of time.
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 growing trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
These organizations also encourage individuals to:
- Identify their level of hearing loss risk
- Get their hearing checked sooner in their lives
- Wear their hearing aids
Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these measures.
Researchers, healthcare providers, and government organizations are trying to find solutions. Hearing aid associated costs are also being addressed. This will help improve accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that greatly enhance lives.
Comprehensive approaches are being developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. They are integrating education, awareness, and health services to lower the risk of hearing loss in underserved communities.
Local leaders are being educated on the health affect of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They work with communities to decrease resident’s noise exposure and instruct them on what safe levels of noise are. They’re also advancing research into how hearing loss is increased with the use and abuse of opiates.
Can You do Anything?
Stay informed because hearing loss is a public health problem. Take measures to slow the progression of your own hearing loss and share practical information with others.
If you think you may be dealing with hearing loss, get a hearing exam. If you learn you need hearing aids, be sure to wear them.
The final goal is to avoid all hearing loss. You’re helping other people who are dealing with hearing loss realize that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re helping your community become more aware of the difficulties of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to improve attitudes, policies, and actions.