Hearing Loss is Increasing, Even Amongst The Young

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

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

When you consider severe hearing loss, ideas of elderly people may come to mind. But all age groups have had a recent increase 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 crisis.

Scientists predict that in the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double among adults 20 and older. The healthcare community views this as a significant public health problem. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one in five people is currently dealing with hearing loss so severe it makes communication difficult.

Hearing loss is increasing amongst all age groups and here is why experts think that is.

Added Health Problems Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss

It’s a horrible thing to have to endure severe hearing loss. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and challenging every day. Individuals can often disengage from their family and friends and stop doing the things they enjoy. If you don’t get help, it’s almost impossible to be active while suffering from significant hearing loss.

Those with neglected hearing loss are afflicted by more than diminished hearing. They’re far more likely to develop:

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

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

Along with the impact on their personal lives, people going through hearing loss might face increased:

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

We need to combat hearing loss as a society because as these factors demonstrate, hearing loss is a significant obstacle.

What’s Contributing to Increased Hearing Loss Across All Age Groups?

The recent rise in hearing loss can be linked to a number of factors. One factor is the increased occurrence of common conditions that can cause hearing loss, such as:

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

These disorders and other associated conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re happening to people at earlier ages.

Lifestyle also plays a major role in the increased prevalence of hearing loss. Exposure to loud noises is more common, specifically 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 often the younger people who have the highest level of noise exposure in:

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

Moreover, many individuals are cranking the volume of their music up to harmful volumes and are wearing earbuds. And more individuals are treating pain with painkillers or taking them recreationally. Long-term, frequent use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been linked to an increased danger of hearing loss.

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

Local, national, and world organizations have recognized the issue. They’re doing work to stop this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:

  • Research
  • Risk factors
  • Prevention
  • Treatment options

Individuals are being encouraged by these organizations to:

  • Have their hearing checked earlier in their lives
  • Use their hearing aids
  • Recognize their degree of hearing loss risk

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

Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and researchers. Hearing aid related costs are also being addressed. This will help increase accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that significantly enhance lives.

Broad strategies are being formulated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations as well as scientists. Decreasing the danger of hearing loss among underserved communities is being addressed with health services, education, and awareness.

Local leaders are being educated on the health impact of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They work with communities to minimize resident’s noise exposure and teach what safe levels of noise are. They’re also pushing forward research into how hearing loss is raised with the use and abuse of opiates.

What You Can do?

Stay informed because hearing loss is a public health issue. Take steps to slow the progression of your own hearing loss and share useful information with people.

Have your own hearing tested if you think you are dealing with hearing loss. If you find you need hearing aids, be sure to wear them.

The final goal is to prevent all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people see they’re not alone. You’re bringing awareness about the issue of hearing loss in your community. Policies, actions. and attitudes will then be changed by this awareness.

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.