Hearing loss is presently a public health concern and scientists believe that it will become much 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 over the past few years, there has been a spike in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Hearing loss obviously isn’t an aging issue it’s an increasing epidemic and the rising cases among all age groups demonstrates this.
Among adults 20 and up, researchers predict that hearing loss will rise by 40%. This is viewed as a public health problem by the healthcare community. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five people is already suffering from hearing loss so extreme it makes communication challenging.
Let’s find out why experts are so concerned and what’s contributing to a spike in hearing loss amongst all age groups.
Added Health Issues Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss
It’s a terrible thing to have to go through serious hearing loss. Day-to-day communication becomes difficult, frustrating, and fatiguing. Individuals can often withdraw from their friends and family and stop doing the things they enjoy. If you don’t seek help, it’s almost impossible to be active while going through significant hearing loss.
It’s not only diminished hearing that individuals with neglected hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re also more likely to experience the following
- Injuries from recurring falls
- Other acute health conditions
- Cognitive decline
They’re also more likely to have difficulties with their personal relationships and might have challenges getting basic needs met.
In combination with the affect on their personal lives, people experiencing hearing loss may face increased:
- Accident rates
- Needs for public assistance
- Insurance costs
- Disability rates
- Healthcare expenses
These factors show that hearing loss is a significant challenge we need to deal with as a society.
Why Are Numerous Age Groups Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?
There are numerous factors causing the current rise in hearing loss. One factor is the increased incidence of common diseases 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
These disorders and other associated conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re happening to people at younger ages.
Lifestyle also plays a major role in the increased incidence of hearing loss. Exposure to loud noises is more prevalent, especially in recreation areas and work environments. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other sounds in more places. Young people who frequent the following places have the highest level of hearing loss:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Also, many individuals are cranking the volume of their music up to hazardous levels and are using earbuds. And more individuals are managing pain with painkillers or taking them recreationally. Prolonged, frequent use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been linked to a higher risk of hearing loss.
How is Society Reacting to Hearing Loss as a Health Crisis?
Local, national, and world organizations have recognized the issue. They’re doing work to stop this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:
- Risk factors
- Treatment options
These organizations also motivate individuals to:
- Know their level of hearing loss risk
- Use their hearing aids
- Get their hearing checked sooner in their lives
Any delays in these actions make the affect of hearing loss a lot worse.
Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and researchers. They’re also looking for ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. State-of-the-art hearing technology will be increased and lives will be dramatically improved.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to develop in depth strategies. They are integrating education, awareness, and health services to reduce the risk of hearing loss among 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 decrease resident’s noise exposure and teach what safe levels of noise are. Additionally, they are facilitating research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the risk of hearing loss.
What You Can do?
Hearing loss is a public health issue so stay informed. Take steps to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss and share helpful information with people.
If you suspect you might be experiencing hearing loss, have your hearing examined. Be sure you get and use your hearing aids if you discover that you need them.
Stopping hearing loss is the main goal. You’re helping others who have hearing loss realize that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re helping your community become more aware of the problems of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to transform attitudes, policies, and actions.