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

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

The majority of people think of the elderly when they consider severe hearing loss. But all age groups have had a recent rise in hearing loss during the last few years. Increased hearing loss among all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing epidemic.

Researchers predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double in adults 20 and older. The healthcare community sees this as a significant public health issue. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five people is currently suffering from hearing loss so severe it makes communication difficult.

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

Added Health Problems Can be The Consequence of Hearing Loss

Profound hearing loss is an awful thing to experience.. Day-to-day communication becomes challenging, frustrating, and fatiguing. People can often withdraw from their friends and family and stop doing the things they love. If you don’t seek help, it’s nearly impossible to be active while experiencing severe hearing loss.

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

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

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

Individuals who suffer from hearing loss are affected in their personal lives and could also have increased:

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

These factors demonstrate that hearing loss is a significant challenge we need to deal with as a society.

Why Are Multiple Generations Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?

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

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

More people are experiencing these and related conditions at younger ages, which leads to added hearing loss.

Lifestyle also plays a major role in the increased occurrence of hearing loss. In recreational and work areas in particular, 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 frequent the following places have the highest level of hearing loss:

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

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

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

Local, national, and world organizations have taken notice. They’re working to end this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:

  • Prevention
  • Research
  • Treatment options
  • Risk factors

These organizations also urge individuals to:

  • Use their hearing aids
  • Identify their degree of hearing loss risk
  • Get their hearing tested sooner in their lives

Any delays in these activities make the impact of hearing loss significantly worse.

Solutions are being sought by government organizations, healthcare providers, and scientists. They’re also pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. This will help improve accessibility to state-of-the-art hearing technologies that significantly improve lives.

Comprehensive approaches are being created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. They are integrating education, awareness, and health services to decrease the danger of hearing loss among underserved groups.

Among their contributions, they’ve formulated research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders recognize the health impacts of noise. They show what safe noise exposure is, and work with communities to minimize noise exposure for residents. Additionally, they’re furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the danger of hearing loss.

Can You do Anything?

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

If you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss, have your hearing examined. If you discover you need hearing aids, be sure to wear them.

Stopping hearing loss is the main goal. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people realize they’re not alone. You’re bringing awareness about the problem of hearing loss in your community. 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.