Even With Younger People, Hearing Loss is on The Rise

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Scientists believe 20-somethings with hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health concern.

When you think of serious hearing loss, ideas of elderly people might come to mind. But over the past few years, there has been a spike in hearing loss with all age groups. Hearing loss obviously isn’t an aging issue it’s a growing crisis and the rising instances among all age groups illustrates this.

Among adults 20 and older, scientists forecast that hearing loss will rise by 40%. This is seen as a public health concern by the healthcare community. One out of five people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating due to severe hearing loss.

Let’s see why experts are so concerned and what’s contributing to an increase in hearing loss among all age groups.

Hearing Loss Can Cause Added Health Concerns

It’s an awful thing to have to endure serious hearing loss. Communication is aggravating, exhausting, and challenging every day. It can cause people to stop doing what they enjoy and withdraw from family and friends. If you don’t get help, it’s nearly impossible to be active while going through severe hearing loss.

It’s not only diminished hearing that individuals with untreated hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re also more likely to develop the following

  • Injuries from repeated falls
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Other severe health conditions
  • Cognitive decline

They also have trouble getting their everyday needs met and are more likely to have problems with personal relationships.

Individuals who experience hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and could also have increased:

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

These factors show that hearing loss is a major obstacle we need to deal with as a society.

Why Are Multiple Age Groups Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?

The recent increase in hearing loss can be linked to several factors. The increased instances of some common illnesses that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:

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

More people are dealing with these and associated conditions at younger ages, which adds to added hearing loss.

Lifestyle also plays a major role in the increased prevalence of hearing loss. Exposure to loud sounds is more common, especially 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 frequently the younger people who have the highest degree of noise exposure in:

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

Also, many people are cranking the volume of their music up to harmful levels and are wearing earbuds. And more individuals are treating pain with painkillers or using them recreationally. Opiates, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen will increase your chance of hearing loss especially if used over a extended period of time.

How is Society Responding to Hearing Loss as a Health Crisis?

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

  • Risk factors
  • Research
  • Prevention
  • Treatment possibilities

Individuals are being prompted by these organizations to:

  • Know their level of hearing loss risk
  • Get their hearing checked earlier in their lives
  • Use their hearing aids

Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these measures.

Researchers, healthcare providers, and government organizations are looking for solutions. Hearing aid related costs are also being addressed. 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 develop in depth strategies. Lowering the risk of hearing loss among underserved communities is being tackled with health services, education, and awareness.

Among their efforts, they’ve formulated research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders recognize the health affects of noise. They work with communities to reduce resident’s noise exposure and instruct them on what safe levels of noise are. They’re also advancing research into how hearing loss is increased with the use and abuse of opiates.

Can You do Anything?

Keep yourself informed as hearing loss is a public health issue. Share useful information with other people and take action to slow the development of your own hearing loss.

Get your own hearing tested if you believe you are suffering from hearing loss. If you discover you need hearing aids, be sure to wear them.

The main goal is to prevent all hearing loss. You’re helping other people who are dealing with hearing loss recognize that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re helping your community become more aware of the challenges of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to improve attitudes, actions, and policies.