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 using hearing aids.
Most individuals think of the elderly when they consider severe hearing loss. But over the last few years, there has been an increase in hearing loss with all age groups. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging issue it’s a growing epidemic and the rising cases among all age groups illustrates this.
Scientists predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double in adults 20 and older. This is viewed as a public health issue by the healthcare community. One in five people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a hard time communicating because of extreme hearing loss.
Let’s look at why experts are so alarmed and what’s contributing to a spike in hearing loss among all age groups.
Hearing Loss Can Cause Additional Health Concerns
It’s a terrible thing to have to go through severe hearing loss. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and demanding every day. Individuals can frequently withdraw from their friends and family and stop doing the things they love. 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 untreated hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re much more likely to experience:
- Injuries from recurring falls
- Cognitive decline
- Other acute health problems
They also have difficulty getting their basic needs met and are more likely to have problems with personal relationships.
Along with the affect on their personal lives, individuals going through hearing loss may face increased:
- Accident rates
- Disability rates
- Healthcare costs
- Insurance costs
- Needs for public assistance
These factors reveal that hearing loss is a major obstacle we should fight as a society.
Why Are Numerous Generations Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?
There are several factors causing the present increase in hearing loss. One factor is the increased occurrence of common conditions that can lead to hearing loss, such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
- High blood pressure
These conditions and other related conditions are contributing to increased hearing loss because they’re affecting people at earlier ages.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a great deal to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud sounds is more common, specifically in recreation areas and work environments. We’re being exposed to loud noises and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. It’s often the younger age groups who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
Furthermore, many people are choosing to use earbuds and turn their music up to harmful volumes. And more people are managing pain with painkillers or using them recreationally. Opiates, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen will raise your chance 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 recognized the issue. They’re educating the public as a step to slow this rising trend with the following:
- Treatment possibilities
- Risk factors
Individuals are being urged by these organizations to:
- Use their hearing aids
- Have their hearing examined earlier in their lives
- Know their degree of hearing loss risk
Hearing loss will worsen with any delay in these measures.
Solutions are being sought by government organizations, healthcare providers, and researchers. They’re also looking for ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. This will help increase accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that significantly enhance lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to create comprehensive 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 work with communities to minimize resident’s noise exposure and instruct them on 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?
Keep yourself informed because hearing loss is a public health problem. Share practical information with others and take steps to slow the development of your own hearing loss.
Get your own hearing checked if you think you are dealing with hearing loss. Make sure you get and use your hearing aids if you learn that you need them.
The final goal is to stop 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 helping your community become more aware of the struggles of hearing loss. Policies, attitudes, and actions will then be changed by this awareness.