Hearing loss is presently a public health issue and scientists believe that it will become a lot more common for individuals in their 20’s to be wearing hearing aids.
When you think of severe hearing loss, ideas of elderly people may come to mind. But over the last few years, there has been a spike in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further demonstrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing epidemic.
Scientists predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double among adults 20 and older. This is seen as a public health issue by the healthcare community. One in five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating because of severe hearing loss.
Let’s look at why experts are so worried and what’s contributing to an increase in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Added Health Problems Can be The Consequence of Hearing Loss
Severe hearing loss is a horrible thing to experience. Day-to-day communication becomes challenging, frustrating, and exhausting. Individuals can often withdraw 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 experiencing significant hearing loss.
Those who have neglected hearing loss have problems with more than diminished hearing. They’re far more likely to develop:
- Cognitive decline
- Other acute health problems
- Injuries from recurring falls
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal relationships and might have trouble getting basic needs met.
people who experience hearing loss are affected in their personal lives and could also have increased:
- Needs for public assistance
- Healthcare costs
- Insurance rates
- Accident rates
- Disability rates
We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors reveal, hearing loss is a significant challenge.
Why Are Multiple Generations Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
There are numerous factors contributing to the recent rise in hearing loss. The increased cases of some common diseases that cause hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- High blood pressure
These conditions and other related conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re happening to people at earlier ages.
Lifestyle also plays a significant role in the increased incidence of hearing loss. Exposure to loud noises is more prevalent, particularly 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. It’s frequently the younger age groups who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Also, many individuals are turning the volume of their music up to harmful levels and are using earbuds. And more people are treating pain with painkillers or taking them recreationally. Prolonged, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been connected with a higher danger of hearing loss.
How is Society Reacting to Hearing Loss as a Health Problem?
Local, national, and world organizations have taken notice. They’re educating the public as a measure to reduce this rising trend with the following:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
These organizations also encourage individuals to:
- Have their hearing checked sooner in their lives
- Wear their hearing aids
- Identify their degree of hearing loss risk
Any delays in these activities make the affect of hearing loss much worse.
Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are seeking solutions. They’re also pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. State-of-the-art hearing technology will be increased and lives will be substantially improved.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to formulate comprehensive strategies. Reducing the risk of hearing loss in underserved communities is being tackled with health services, education, and awareness.
Among their contributions, they’ve developed research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders understand the health impacts of noise. They work with communities to minimize 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 practical information with other people.
If you suspect you might be experiencing hearing loss, get a hearing exam. Make sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you learn that you need them.
The final goal is to stop all hearing loss. You’re helping other people who are dealing with 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. Policies, attitudes, and actions will then be transformed by this awareness.