Hearing Loss is Increasing, Even Amongst Younger People

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

Scientists think that 20-somethings who wear hearing aids will soon become more common as hearing loss is a public health issue.

When you consider serious hearing loss, thoughts of elderly people might come to mind. But over the past few years, there has been a spike in hearing loss with all age groups. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging problem it’s an increasing epidemic and the rising instances among all age groups illustrates this.

Researchers predict within the next 40 years, hearing loss cases will double in adults 20 and older. The healthcare community views this as a major public health problem. One out of five people is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a difficult time communicating due to extreme hearing loss.

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

Hearing Loss Can Cause Added Health Problems

Profound hearing loss is a terrible thing to go through.. Day-to-day communication becomes difficult, aggravating, 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 virtually impossible to be active while suffering from significant hearing loss.

It’s not only diminished hearing that individuals with untreated hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re also more likely to develop the following

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

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

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

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

We need to fight hearing loss as a society because as these factors demonstrate, hearing loss is a real challenge.

What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss in Multiple Generations?

The recent rise in hearing loss can be linked to numerous factors. The increased instances of some common illnesses that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:

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

More individuals are experiencing these and related conditions at younger ages, which contributes to added hearing loss.

Lifestyle also plays a significant role in the increased occurrence of hearing loss. Exposure to loud noises is more prevalent, particularly in recreation areas and work environments. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other noises in more places. It’s often the younger people who have the highest amount of noise exposure in:

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

In addition, many people are choosing to wear earbuds and turn their music up to harmful volumes. And a greater number of individuals are now using painkillers, either to manage chronic pain or recreationally. Prolonged, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been connected with an increased risk of hearing loss.

How is Society Reacting to Hearing Loss as a Health Issue?

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

  • Treatment options
  • Research
  • Prevention
  • Risk factors

Individuals are being urged by these organizations to:

  • Know their level of hearing loss risk
  • Get their hearing evaluated sooner in their lives
  • Wear their hearing aids

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

Solutions are being looked for by government organizations, healthcare providers, and researchers. They’re also pursuing ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. This will help increase accessibility to advanced hearing technologies that significantly enhance lives.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to formulate in depth strategies. They are integrating education, awareness, and health services to decrease the danger of hearing loss in underserved communities.

Among their efforts, they’ve created research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders recognize the health affects of noise. They show what safe noise exposure is, and help communities reduce noise exposure for residents. In addition, they are furthering research on how opiate use and abuse can raise the danger of hearing loss.

Can You do Anything?

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

If you think you may be suffering from hearing loss, get a hearing exam. If you discover you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.

The main goal is to stop all hearing loss. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people understand they’re not alone. You’re bringing awareness about the issue of hearing loss in your community. 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.