Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

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

When you consider severe hearing loss, ideas of elderly people may come to mind. But over the past few years, there has been a surge in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Hearing loss clearly isn’t an aging issue it’s an increasing crisis and the rising instances among all age groups illustrates this.

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

Let’s see why experts are so alarmed and what’s causing a spike in hearing loss amongst all age groups.

Additional Health Problems Can be The Consequence of Hearing Loss

Profound hearing loss is a terrible thing to experience.. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and challenging every day. People can frequently disengage from their friends and family and stop doing the things they love. When you’re suffering from severe hearing loss, it will be impossible to be active without getting help.

It’s not only diminished hearing that people with untreated hearing loss are afflicted by. They’re far more likely to develop:

  • Injuries from recurring falls
  • Cognitive decline
  • Other severe health problems
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

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

Individuals who endure hearing loss are affected in their personal lives and could also have increased:

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

These factors demonstrate that hearing loss is a significant challenge we should combat as a society.

Why Are Multiple Generations Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?

There are several factors contributing to the current rise in hearing loss. One factor is the increased occurrence of common conditions that can lead to hearing loss, such as:

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

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

Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a great deal to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud noises is more prevalent, specifically in recreation areas and work environments. We’re being exposed to loud sounds and music in more places and modern technology is getting louder. It’s frequently the younger age groups who have the highest degree of noise exposure in:

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

In addition, many individuals 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. Prolonged, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been linked to an increased risk of hearing loss.

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

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

  • Prevention
  • Research
  • Treatment options
  • Risk factors

Individuals are being prompted by these organizations to:

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

Hearing loss will worsen with any delay in these actions.

Researchers, healthcare providers, and government organizations are trying to find solutions. They’re also seeking ways to bring hearing-loss related costs down. Advanced hearing technology will be increased and lives will be substantially improved.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to formulate in depth strategies. Reducing the danger of hearing loss among underserved communities is being addressed with health services, education, and awareness.

Among their contributions, they’ve created research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders understand the health affects of noise. They work with communities to reduce resident’s noise exposure and instruct them on 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.

Can You do Anything?

Hearing loss is a public health issue so keep yourself informed. Take steps to slow the advancement of your own hearing loss and share helpful information with other people.

Get your own hearing tested if you think you’re suffering from hearing loss. Be sure you get and wear your hearing aids if you learn that you need them.

Avoiding hearing loss is the main goal. When you wear your hearing aids, you help people recognize they’re not alone. You’re helping your community become more aware of the problems of hearing loss. This awareness has the power to transform attitudes, policies, and actions.

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