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

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

When you consider extreme hearing loss, ideas of elderly people may come to mind. But over the past few years, there has been a surge in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Increased hearing loss in all ages further demonstrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing crisis.

Researchers predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double among adults 20 and older. The healthcare community views this as a serious public health problem. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five individuals is already experiencing hearing loss so severe it makes communication challenging.

Let’s find out why experts are so concerned and what’s contributing to a spike in hearing loss amongst all age groups.

Added Health Concerns Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss

Severe hearing loss is a horrible thing to go through. Communication is aggravating, fatiguing, and demanding every day. It can cause individuals to stop doing what they love and withdraw from friends and family. If you don’t seek help, it’s virtually impossible to be active while going through severe hearing loss.

People who have neglected hearing loss have problems with more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to experience the following

  • Cognitive decline
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Injuries from recurring falls
  • Other serious health problems
  • Anxiety

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

people who suffer from hearing loss are impacted in their personal lives and may also have increased:

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

These factors show that hearing loss is a significant obstacle we need to fight as a society.

What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss Across Multiple Age Groups?

The recent increase in hearing loss can be linked to a number of factors. The increased cases of some common conditions that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:

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

These disorders and other related conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re affecting people at earlier 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 sound. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other noises in more places. It’s frequently the younger age groups who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:

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

Also, many people are turning the volume of their music up to dangerous volumes and are wearing earbuds. And a greater number of individuals are now using painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will increase your chance of hearing loss especially if used over a extended time periods.

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

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

  • Research
  • Risk factors
  • Prevention
  • Treatment possibilities

These organizations also encourage individuals to:

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

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

Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and scientists. Hearing aid related costs are also being addressed. This will help increase accessibility to state-of-the-art hearing technologies that greatly enhance lives.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to formulate in depth strategies. They are integrating education, awareness, and health services to lower the danger of hearing loss in underserved communities.

Among their contributions, they’ve developed research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders understand the health impacts of noise. They describe what safe noise exposure is, and help communities minimize noise exposure for residents. They’re also advancing research into how hearing loss is raised with the use and abuse of opiates.

Can You do Anything?

Keep yourself informed as hearing loss is a public health issue. Take steps to slow the progression of your own hearing loss and share practical information with other people.

If you believe you may be experiencing 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. You’re helping others who are dealing with hearing loss recognize that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re bringing awareness about the problem of hearing loss in your community. This awareness has the power to improve attitudes, actions, and policies.

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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.