Hearing Loss is Increasing, Even Among 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 common as hearing loss is a public health concern.

When you think of extreme hearing loss, thoughts of elderly people might come to mind. But all age groups have seen a recent rise in hearing loss during the last few years. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging issue it’s an increasing crisis and the rising cases among all age groups demonstrates this.

Among adults 20 and older, researchers predict that hearing loss will increase by 40%. The healthcare community sees this as a serious public health concern. One out of five people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a hard time communicating because of extreme hearing loss.

Let’s find out why experts are so worried and what’s causing an increase in hearing loss amongst all age groups.

Hearing Loss Can Lead to Added Health Concerns

Severe hearing loss is an awful thing to go through. Normal communication becomes difficult, frustrating, and exhausting. People can often withdraw from their family and friends and stop doing the things they enjoy. When you’re suffering from significant hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without getting help.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Are Multiple Generations Experiencing Increased Hearing Loss?

There are a number of factors contributing to the current rise in hearing loss. One factor is the increased incidence of common diseases that can lead to hearing loss, including:

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

These conditions and other associated conditions are contributing to additional hearing loss because they’re affecting people at younger ages.

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

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

Furthermore, many people are choosing to use earbuds and turn their music up to dangerous volumes. And a larger number of individuals are now making use of painkillers, either to address chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen will increase your chance of hearing loss especially if used over a long time periods.

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

Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re educating the public as a measure to reduce this rising trend with the following:

  • Treatment possibilities
  • Prevention
  • Risk factors
  • Research

These organizations also urge individuals to:

  • Wear their hearing aids
  • Have their hearing aid discovery tested earlier in their lives
  • Know their level of hearing loss risk

Hearing loss will worsen with any delay in these measures.

Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and researchers. They’re also pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. State-of-the-art hearing technology will be increased and lives will be dramatically enhanced.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to develop in depth strategies. They are combining education, awareness, and health services to reduce the risk of hearing loss in underserved groups.

Local leaders are being made aware of the health impact of noise by being given researched-based guidelines for communities. They explain what safe noise exposure is, and work with communities to reduce noise exposure for residents. 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 as hearing loss is a public health problem. Take steps to slow the development of your own hearing loss and share helpful information with others.

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

The ultimate goal is to stop all hearing loss. You’re helping other people who are dealing with hearing loss recognize that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re helping your community become more aware of the struggles of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to transform attitudes, actions, and policies.

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.