Hearing loss is currently a public health issue and scientists believe that it will become a lot more common for people in their 20’s to be using hearing aids.
Most individuals think of the elderly when they consider extreme hearing loss. But over the past few years, there has been a spike in hearing loss with all age groups. Increased hearing loss among all ages further illustrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing crisis.
With adults 20 and up, scientists forecast that hearing loss will rise by 40%. This is seen as a public health issue by the healthcare community. One out of five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a hard time communicating as a result of severe hearing loss.
Let’s look at why experts are so worried and what’s causing an increase in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Trigger Added Health Issues
Serious hearing loss is a terrible thing to cope with. Day-to-day communication becomes difficult, frustrating, and fatiguing. People can often disengage from their friends and family and stop doing the things they enjoy. If you don’t get help, it’s nearly impossible to be active while going through severe hearing loss.
People with neglected hearing loss have problems with more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Other severe health problems
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from repeated falls
They also have difficulty getting their everyday needs met and are more likely to have problems with personal relationships.
Individuals who experience hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Insurance rates
- Accident rates
- Needs for public assistance
- Disability rates
- Healthcare expenses
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors reveal, hearing loss is a real obstacle.
What’s Contributing to Increased Hearing Loss Across Multiple Ages?
The recent increase in hearing loss can be attributed to several factors. One factor is the increased incidence of common conditions that can lead to hearing loss, such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
More individuals are suffering from these and associated disorders at earlier ages, which adds to further hearing loss.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a lot to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud sounds is more common, specifically in work environments and recreational areas. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other noises in more places. Young people who regularly go to the following places have the highest level of hearing loss:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
Additionally, many people are choosing to wear earbuds and crank their music up to dangerous levels. And a larger number of people are now making use of painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Long-term, frequent use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been connected with an increased risk of hearing loss.
How is Society Reacting to Hearing Loss as a Health Crisis?
Local, national, and world organizations have taken notice. They’re educating the public as a step to slow this rising trend with the following:
- Treatment possibilities
- Risk factors
Individuals are being prompted by these organizations to:
- Get their hearing checked sooner in their lives
- Use their hearing aids
- Identify their degree of hearing loss risk
Any delays in these actions make the impact of hearing loss much worse.
Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and scientists. Hearing aid associated costs are also being addressed. Advanced hearing technology will be increased and lives will be dramatically improved.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to create comprehensive strategies. Lowering the danger of hearing loss in underserved communities is being addressed with health services, education, and awareness.
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 minimize resident’s noise exposure and teach what safe levels of noise are. In addition, they’re facilitating research on how opiate use and abuse can raise the chance of hearing loss.
What You Can do?
Keep yourself informed because hearing loss is a public health problem. Share practical information with other people and take steps to slow the development of your own hearing loss.
If you think you might be experiencing hearing loss, have your hearing examined. If you discover you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.
The main goal is to avoid all hearing loss. You’re helping others who have hearing loss realize 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, actions. and attitudes will then be changed by this awareness.