Hearing loss is presently a public health concern and scientists think that it will become much more common for individuals in their 20’s to be using hearing aids.
The majority of people think of the elderly when they consider extreme hearing loss. But over the past few years, there has been an increase in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further demonstrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing epidemic.
Scientists predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double among adults 20 and older. This is seen as a public health problem by the healthcare community. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five people is currently suffering from hearing loss so severe it makes communication difficult.
Hearing loss is increasing amongst all age groups and here is why experts think that is.
Added Health Concerns Can be The Consequence of Hearing Loss
Profound hearing loss is an awful thing to cope with. Day-to-day communication becomes difficult, aggravating, and fatiguing. Individuals can frequently disengage from their family and friends and stop doing the things they love. When you’re experiencing extreme hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without getting help.
Individuals who have untreated hearing loss suffer from more than diminished hearing. They’re much more likely to develop:
- Injuries from repeated falls
- Cognitive decline
- Other acute health problems
They’re also more likely to have difficulties with their personal relationships and may have trouble getting basic needs met.
Individuals who endure hearing loss are affected in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Disability rates
- Healthcare costs
- Accident rates
- Insurance costs
- Needs for public support
We need to combat hearing loss as a society because as these factors demonstrate, hearing loss is a real challenge.
Why Are Numerous Age Groups Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
The current increase in hearing loss can be linked to a number of factors. The increased cases of some common diseases that cause hearing loss is one factor, including:
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
These conditions and other related conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re affecting people at younger ages.
Lifestyle also plays a major role in the increased prevalence of hearing loss. In work and recreational areas in particular, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud noise. We’re being exposed to loud noises and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. Young people who frequent the following places have the highest degree of hearing loss:
- 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 a greater number of people are now making use of painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will increase your risk of hearing loss especially if taken over a extended time periods.
How is Hearing Loss as a Health Problem Being Dealt With by Society?
Local, national, and world organizations have taken notice. They’re working to prevent this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
These organizations also urge individuals to:
- Have their hearing checked sooner in their lives
- Use their hearing aids
- Recognize their degree of hearing loss risk
Hearing loss will worsen with any delay in these actions.
Solutions are being sought by government organizations, healthcare providers, and scientists. Hearing aid related costs are also being addressed. This will help increase accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that greatly enhance lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to develop in depth strategies. Reducing the danger of hearing loss in underserved communities is being addressed with health services, education, and awareness.
Among their contributions, they’ve developed research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders recognize the health affects of noise. They describe what safe noise exposure is, and help communities decrease noise exposure for residents. In addition, they’re furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the danger of hearing loss.
What You Can do?
Hearing loss is a public health problem so keep yourself informed. Share practical information with others and take steps to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
Have your own hearing tested if you believe you’re experiencing hearing loss. If you discover you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.
The main goal is to prevent all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people realize they’re not alone. You’re bringing awareness about the issue of hearing loss in your community. Policies, attitudes, and actions will then be transformed by this awareness.