Hearing Loss is Increasing, Even Amongst Younger People

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 common as hearing loss is a public health concern.

Most people think of the elderly when they consider extreme hearing loss. But over the last few years, there has been a surge in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Increased hearing loss among all ages further demonstrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing crisis.

With adults 20 and up, scientists predict that hearing loss will increase by 40%. The healthcare community views this as a serious public health issue. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five individuals is currently experiencing hearing loss so severe it makes communication challenging.

Hearing loss is rising among all age groups and here is why researchers think that is.

Added Health Concerns Can be The Outcome of Hearing Loss

Severe hearing loss is a horrible thing to cope with.. Communication is aggravating, exhausting, and challenging every day. People can frequently withdraw from their family and friends and stop doing the things they love. If you don’t seek help, it’s virtually impossible to be active while enduring significant hearing loss.

Those with untreated hearing loss suffer from more than diminished hearing. They’re a lot more likely to develop:

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

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

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

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

These factors reveal that hearing loss is a significant obstacle we need to combat as a society.

What’s Contributing to Increased Hearing Loss in All Ages?

There are numerous factors causing the present increase in hearing loss. One factor is the increased occurrence of common conditions that can lead to hearing loss, including:

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

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

Lifestyle also plays an important role in the increased incidence of hearing loss. In work and recreational areas specifically, 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. It’s often the younger people who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:

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

Furthermore, many individuals are choosing to use earbuds and crank their music up to harmful levels. And a larger number of individuals are now using painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Continued, frequent use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been linked to a higher risk of hearing loss.

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

Hearing loss is getting the attention of local, national, and world organizations. They’re trying to stop this upward trend by educating the public on hearing loss such as:

  • Prevention
  • Treatment options
  • Risk factors
  • Research

These organizations also urge individuals to:

  • Know their degree of hearing loss risk
  • Use their hearing aids
  • Get their hearing examined sooner in their lives

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

Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are trying to find solutions. Hearing aid associated costs are also being addressed. State-of-the-art hearing technology will be increased and lives will be significantly 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 among underserved groups.

Among their contributions, they’ve formulated research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders recognize the health affects of noise. They work with communities to reduce resident’s noise exposure and teach what safe levels of noise are. Additionally, they are facilitating research on how opiate use and abuse can increase the chance of hearing loss.

What You Can do?

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

Get your own hearing examined if you think you are dealing with hearing loss. If you learn you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.

The main goal is to stop all hearing loss. You’re helping others who are dealing with hearing loss realize that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re bringing awareness about the problem 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.