Scientists believe 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more prevalent as hearing loss is a public health concern.
The majority of individuals think of the elderly when they consider extreme hearing loss. But over the past few years, there has been a surge in hearing loss with all age groups. Increased hearing loss in all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing epidemic.
Researchers predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double among adults 20 and older. This is viewed as a public health problem by the healthcare community. One in five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a hard time communicating because of extreme hearing loss.
Hearing loss is increasing among all age groups and here is why researchers think that is.
Additional Health Problems Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss
Severe hearing loss is an awful thing to cope with. Everyday communication becomes difficult, aggravating, and fatiguing. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they enjoy and withdraw from friends and family. If you don’t seek help, it’s virtually impossible to be active while experiencing significant hearing loss.
People with untreated hearing loss are afflicted by more than diminished hearing. They’re far more likely to develop:
- Other serious health conditions
- Cognitive decline
- Injuries from recurring falls
They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal relationships and might have challenges getting basic needs met.
Individuals who endure hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and may also have increased:
- Accident rates
- Healthcare costs
- Insurance costs
- Needs for public support
- Disability rates
We need to combat hearing loss as a society because as these factors show, hearing loss is a significant challenge.
What’s Contributing to Increased Hearing Loss Across All Generations?
There are a number of factors causing the present increase in hearing loss. The increased instances of some common diseases that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor diet and a lack of consistent exercise
- Anxiety and unmanaged stress
- High blood pressure
More individuals are experiencing these and related disorders at younger ages, which contributes to further hearing loss.
Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a lot to do with lifestyle. In work and recreational areas particularly, 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 regularly go to the following places have the highest level of hearing loss:
- Shooting ranges
- Bars, clubs, and concerts
In addition, many individuals are choosing to use earbuds and crank their music up to harmful levels. And more people are managing pain with painkillers or taking them recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will increase your risk of hearing loss especially if taken over a long period of time.
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 educating the public as a measure to reduce this growing trend with the following:
- Treatment possibilities
- Risk factors
Individuals are being encouraged by these organizations to:
- Get their hearing checked earlier in their lives
- Wear their hearing aids
- Recognize their degree of hearing loss risk
Hearing loss will become severe with any delay in these actions.
Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are seeking solutions. They’re also seeking ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. State-of-the-art hearing technology will be increased and lives will be significantly improved.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to formulate in depth strategies. They are incorporating awareness, education, and health services to lower the risk of hearing loss in underserved groups.
Local leaders are being made aware of the health impact of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They show what safe noise exposure is, and help communities minimize noise exposure for residents. 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 remain informed. Take measures to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss and share useful information with people.
If you think you may be dealing with hearing loss, get a hearing exam. If you find you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.
The ultimate goal is to avoid all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people recognize they’re not alone. You’re bringing awareness about the issue of hearing loss in your community. Policies, actions. and attitudes will then be changed by this awareness.