Hearing loss is currently a public health problem and scientists think that it will become much more common for individuals in their 20’s to be wearing hearing aids.
The majority of people think of the elderly when they consider severe hearing loss. But over the past few years, there has been a spike in hearing loss with all age groups. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging issue it’s an increasing epidemic and the rising cases among all age groups illustrates this.
Researchers predict within 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 people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a hard time communicating as a result of extreme hearing loss.
Hearing loss is rising amongst all age groups and here is why experts think that is.
Added Health Issues Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss
It’s a terrible thing to have to endure serious hearing loss. Everyday communication becomes challenging, frustrating, and fatiguing. It can cause people to stop doing what they love and withdraw from family and friends. When you’re enduring extreme hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that people with untreated hearing loss suffer from. They’re much more likely to experience:
- Other severe health conditions
- Injuries from recurring falls
- Cognitive decline
They also have trouble getting their everyday needs met and are more likely to have difficulties with personal relationships.
Along with the affect on their personal lives, people experiencing hearing loss may face increased:
- Healthcare expenses
- Accident rates
- Insurance rates
- Needs for public support
- Disability rates
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors indicate, hearing loss is a significant obstacle.
Why Are Multiple Generations Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?
There are a number of factors contributing to the current rise in hearing loss. The increased instances of some common conditions that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
More individuals are experiencing these and related conditions at earlier ages, which contributes to added hearing loss.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a great deal to do with lifestyle. In recreational and work areas specifically, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud noise. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other noises in more places. It’s frequently the younger age groups who have the highest level of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Moreover, many individuals are cranking the volume of their music up to dangerous volumes and are using earbuds. And a larger number of people are now making use of painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will increase your chance of hearing loss especially if used over a long period of time.
How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Issue?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re trying to prevent this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment possibilities
These organizations also motivate individuals to:
- Identify their level of hearing loss risk
- Get their hearing tested earlier in their lives
- Wear their hearing aids
Hearing loss will become severe with any delay in these measures.
Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are seeking solutions. 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 significantly enhance lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to develop comprehensive strategies. They are incorporating education, awareness, and health services to decrease the risk of hearing loss in underserved groups.
Local leaders are being educated on 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. They’re also advancing research into how hearing loss is increased with the use and abuse of opiates.
Can You do Anything?
Hearing loss is a public health problem so stay informed. Take steps to slow the development of your own hearing loss and share helpful information with others.
If you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss, have your hearing examined. If you find you need hearing aids, be sure to wear them.
Preventing 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 bringing awareness about the problem of hearing loss in your community. This awareness has the power to change attitudes, actions, and policies.