Hearing loss is presently a public health concern and scientists believe that it will become a lot more common for individuals in their 20’s to be wearing hearing aids.
The majority of individuals think of the elderly when they consider severe hearing loss. But all age groups have seen a recent rise in hearing loss during the last few years. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing epidemic.
Researchers predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double in adults 20 and older. The healthcare community views this as a serious public health issue. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five individuals is already experiencing hearing loss so extreme it makes communication challenging.
Hearing loss is increasing amongst all age groups and here is why experts think that is.
Added Health Problems Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss
It’s an awful thing to have to endure severe hearing loss. Communication is aggravating, fatiguing, and demanding every day. People can frequently disengage from their friends and family and stop doing the things they enjoy. When you’re enduring severe hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without seeking help.
It’s not only diminished hearing that individuals with neglected hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re also more likely to develop the following
- Cognitive decline
- Other acute health problems
- Injuries from repeated falls
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal relationships and may have trouble getting basic needs met.
In combination with the impact on their personal lives, people suffering from hearing loss may face increased:
- Accident rates
- Healthcare expenses
- Disability rates
- Insurance costs
- Needs for public assistance
We need to combat hearing loss as a society because as these factors demonstrate, hearing loss is a real obstacle.
What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss Across All Ages?
The recent increase in hearing loss can be linked to several factors. One factor is the increased occurrence of common conditions that can cause hearing loss, including:
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
More people are suffering from these and related disorders at earlier ages, which adds to further hearing loss.
Lifestyle also plays a significant 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 noise. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other sounds in more places. It’s frequently the younger people who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
- Shooting ranges
In addition, many individuals are choosing to wear earbuds and turn their music up to dangerous volumes. And a greater number of people are now making use of painkillers, either to manage chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will increase your risk of hearing loss especially if used over extended time periods.
How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Problem?
Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re working to end this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
These organizations also encourage individuals to:
- Recognize their level of hearing loss risk
- Wear their hearing aids
- Have their hearing tested earlier in their lives
Any delays in these activities make the impact of hearing loss much worse.
Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and researchers. They’re also seeking ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. This will help improve accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that significantly improve lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to formulate in depth strategies. They are combining awareness, education, and health services to lower the danger of hearing loss in underserved communities.
Among their efforts, they’ve developed research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders understand the health affects of noise. They work with communities to decrease resident’s noise exposure and teach what safe levels of noise are. They’re also pushing forward research into how hearing loss is raised with the use and abuse of opiates.
What You Can do?
Stay informed because hearing loss is a public health issue. Share practical information with other people and take action to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.
Get your own hearing tested if you believe you’re experiencing hearing loss. Be sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you discover that you need them.
Preventing hearing loss is the ultimate goal. You’re helping others who are dealing with hearing loss realize 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 transform attitudes, actions, and policies.