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

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

Scientists predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double among adults 20 and older. The healthcare network sees this as a significant public health problem. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five people is currently experiencing hearing loss so severe it makes communication difficult.

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

Added Health Concerns Can be The Consequence of Hearing Loss

Serious hearing loss is a terrible thing to experience.. Communication is aggravating, exhausting, and challenging every day. Individuals can frequently disengage from their family and friends and stop doing the things they love. If you don’t get help, it’s almost impossible to be active while going through significant hearing loss.

People who have untreated hearing loss are afflicted by more than diminished hearing. They’re much more likely to experience:

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

They’re also more likely to have problems with their personal friendships and may have challenges getting basic needs met.

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

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

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

What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss in All Age Groups?

There are several factors contributing to the present increase in hearing loss. One factor is the increased incidence of common conditions that can lead to hearing loss, such as:

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

More people are dealing with these and related disorders at earlier ages, which leads to further hearing loss.

Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a great deal to do with lifestyle. In work and recreational areas in particular, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud sound. We’re being exposed to loud sounds and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. Young people who frequent the following places have the highest degree of hearing loss:

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

Also, many people are turning the volume of their music up to dangerous volumes and are using earbuds. And a greater number of people are now using painkillers, either to manage chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen will raise your chance of hearing loss particularly if taken over a long time periods.

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

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

  • Treatment possibilities
  • Research
  • Risk factors
  • Prevention

These organizations also urge individuals to:

  • Wear their hearing aids
  • Have their hearing examined sooner in their lives
  • Identify their degree of hearing loss risk

Any delays in these actions make the impact of hearing loss a lot worse.

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

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

Among their contributions, they’ve developed research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders recognize the health affects of noise. They explain what safe noise exposure is, and help communities decrease noise exposure for residents. They’re also pushing forward research into how hearing loss is increased with the use and abuse of opiates.

Can You do Anything?

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

If you think you might be dealing with hearing loss, get a hearing exam. Be sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you learn that you need them.

Preventing hearing loss is the main 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 challenges of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to transform attitudes, actions, and policies.

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