Hearing Loss is Increasing, Even Among Younger People

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 prevalent as hearing loss is a public health concern.

Most people think of the elderly when they consider extreme hearing loss. But all age groups have seen a recent rise in hearing loss over the last few years. Increased hearing loss among all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging problem,” but a growing crisis.

Scientists predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss rates will double in adults 20 and older. This is seen as a public health concern by the healthcare community. One in five people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a hard time communicating because of severe hearing loss.

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

Additional Health Concerns Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss

Severe hearing loss is a terrible thing to go through. Normal communication becomes challenging, frustrating, and fatiguing. It can cause people to stop doing what they love and withdraw from friends and family. If you don’t get help, it’s nearly impossible to be active while suffering from severe hearing loss.

People with neglected hearing loss have problems with more than diminished hearing. They’re a lot more likely to experience:

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

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

Along with the affect on their personal lives, individuals suffering from hearing loss might face increased:

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

These factors demonstrate that hearing loss is a major challenge we need to combat as a society.

Why Are Multiple Generations Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?

The recent rise in hearing loss can be attributed to a number of factors. The increased cases of some common illnesses that cause hearing loss is one factor, including:

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

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 work and recreational areas specifically, it’s becoming more common to be exposed to loud sound. Modern technology is frequently loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other sounds in more places. Young people who regularly go to the following places have the highest level of hearing loss:

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

Also, many individuals are turning the volume of their music up to hazardous levels and are using earbuds. And a greater number of individuals are now making use of painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen will increase your risk of hearing loss particularly if taken over a long time periods.

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

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

  • Treatment possibilities
  • Risk factors
  • Prevention
  • Research

Individuals are being urged by these organizations to:

  • Identify their level of hearing loss risk
  • Have their hearing evaluated earlier in their lives
  • Wear 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 researchers. Hearing aid related costs are also being tackled. Advanced hearing technology will be increased and lives will be significantly enhanced.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to create in depth strategies. Reducing the danger of hearing loss in 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 impacts of noise. They work with communities to minimize resident’s noise exposure and instruct them on what safe levels of noise are. In addition, they are furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the risk of hearing loss.

Can You do Anything?

Keep yourself informed because hearing loss is a public health problem. Share practical information with others and take action to slow the development of your own hearing loss.

Get your own hearing checked if you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss. If you learn you need hearing aids, be sure to wear them.

The final goal is to avoid all hearing loss. 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, policies, and actions.

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.