Young girl with hands over her ears to protect against loud noise and hearing loss.

Scientists think that 20-somethings who wear hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health issue.

The majority of people 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. Increased hearing loss among all ages further illustrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing crisis.

Researchers predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double among adults 20 and older. The healthcare community views this as a major public health concern. One out of five people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating because of severe hearing loss.

Let’s look at why experts are so concerned and what’s causing an increase in hearing loss amongst all age groups.

Additional Health Problems Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss

Serious hearing loss is an awful thing to go through.. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and demanding every day. It can cause people to stop doing what they enjoy and disengage from family and friends. If you don’t get help, it’s nearly impossible to be active while going through significant hearing loss.

It’s not only diminished hearing that people with untreated hearing loss suffer from. They’re also more likely to develop the following

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

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

In addition to the impact on their personal lives, people going through hearing loss may face increased:

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

These factors indicate that hearing loss is a significant challenge we should deal with as a society.

What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss Across All Ages?

The recent increase in hearing loss can be attributed to several factors. One factor is the increased incidence of common conditions that can lead to hearing loss, such as:

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

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

Lifestyle also plays a significant role in the increased prevalence of hearing loss. In work and recreational areas particularly, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud sound. 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 degree of hearing loss:

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

Also, many people are cranking the volume of their music up to hazardous volumes and are wearing earbuds. And a greater number of individuals are now making use of painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will raise your risk of hearing loss particularly if taken over a extended period of time.

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

Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re trying to stop this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:

  • Research
  • Prevention
  • Risk factors
  • Treatment possibilities

These organizations also encourage individuals to:

  • Use their hearing aids
  • Know their degree of hearing loss risk
  • Have their hearing tested sooner in their lives

Hearing loss will become severe with any delay in these measures.

Researchers, healthcare providers, and government organizations are seeking solutions. They’re also looking for ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. This will help improve accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that significantly improve lives.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to create in depth strategies. Decreasing the danger of hearing loss in underserved groups is being tackled with health services, education, and awareness.

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

What You Can do?

Hearing loss is a public health problem so remain informed. Take measures to slow the development of your own hearing loss and share practical information with people.

Get your own hearing checked if you believe you are experiencing hearing loss. Make sure you get and use your hearing aids if you learn that you need them.

Preventing hearing loss is the ultimate goal. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people realize they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the difficulties of hearing loss. Policies, actions. and attitudes will then be changed by this awareness.

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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.

Main Line Audiology Consultants, PC