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.

Most people think of the elderly when they consider extreme hearing loss. But all age groups have had a recent increase in hearing loss during the last few years. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging issue it’s a growing epidemic and the rising cases among all age groups demonstrates this.

Among adults 20 and older, scientists forecast that hearing loss will increase by 40%. The healthcare community views this as a major public health issue. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five people is currently suffering from hearing loss so extreme it makes communication difficult.

Let’s look at why experts are so worried and what’s causing a spike in hearing loss among all age groups.

Hearing Loss Can Cause Added Health Concerns

Serious hearing loss is a horrible thing to go through.. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and demanding every day. It can cause people to stop doing what they love and disengage from friends and family. When you’re going through severe hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without getting help.

Those with neglected hearing loss suffer from more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to develop the following

  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive decline
  • Injuries from repeated falls
  • Other acute health problems

They’re also more likely to have difficulties with their personal relationships and may have trouble getting basic needs met.

Along with the impact on their personal lives, individuals experiencing hearing loss might face increased:

  • Healthcare costs
  • Needs for public assistance
  • Accident rates
  • Insurance rates
  • Disability rates

We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors indicate, hearing loss is a significant challenge.

What’s Contributing to Increased Hearing Loss Across All Ages?

There are several factors causing the present increase in hearing loss. One factor is the increased occurrence of common diseases that can cause hearing loss, including:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Anxiety and unmanaged stress
  • Poor diet and a lack of regular exercise
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure

These conditions and other associated conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re happening to people at younger ages.

Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a great deal to do with lifestyle. In recreational and work areas specifically, 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. Young people who regularly go to the following places have the highest degree of hearing loss:

  • Gyms
  • Factories
  • Bars, clubs, and concerts
  • Shooting ranges

In addition, many individuals are choosing to use earbuds and crank their music up to harmful volumes. And more people are treating pain with painkillers or using them recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will increase your chance of hearing loss particularly if taken over a long time periods.

How is Hearing Loss as a Health Issue Being Dealt With by Society?

Local, national, and world organizations have recognized the issue. They’re educating the public as a step to reduce this growing trend with the following:

  • Treatment possibilities
  • Prevention
  • Research
  • Risk factors

Individuals are being urged by these organizations to:

  • Have their hearing evaluated earlier in their lives
  • Wear their hearing aids
  • Know their degree of hearing loss risk

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 pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. This will help improve accessibility to state-of-the-art hearing technologies that greatly improve lives.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to develop comprehensive strategies. Decreasing the risk of hearing loss among underserved communities is being addressed with health services, education, and awareness.

Among their efforts, they’ve created research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders understand 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.

Can You do Anything?

Hearing loss is a public health issue so keep yourself informed. Share helpful information with others and take action to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss.

If you suspect you might be dealing with hearing loss, have your hearing examined. Make sure you get and use your hearing aids if you discover that you need them.

Stopping hearing loss is the ultimate goal. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people understand they’re not alone. You’re bringing awareness about the problem of hearing loss in your community. This awareness has the power to transform attitudes, policies, and actions.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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