Florida Hearing Matters - Fort Lauderdale, FL

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

When you think of severe hearing loss, thoughts of elderly people might come to mind. But all age groups have had a recent increase in hearing loss over the past few years. Increased hearing loss amongst all ages further shows that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing crisis.

Among adults 20 and older, scientists predict that hearing loss will increase by 40%. The healthcare community views this as a serious public health concern. According to John Hopkins medical researchers, one out of five people 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.

Hearing Loss Can Trigger Further Health Problems

Serious hearing loss is a horrible thing to experience. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and demanding every day. Individuals can frequently disengage from their friends and family and stop doing the things they enjoy. If you don’t get help, it’s virtually impossible to be active while experiencing severe hearing loss.

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

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

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

In addition to the impact on their personal lives, people experiencing hearing loss may face increased:

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

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

What’s Causing Increased Hearing Loss in Multiple Age Groups?

There are a number of factors contributing to the present rise in hearing loss. The increased cases of some common conditions that trigger hearing loss is one factor, including:

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

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

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

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

Also, many people are turning the volume of their music up to harmful volumes and are using earbuds. And a greater number of people are now using painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Opiates, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen will raise your chance of hearing loss particularly if taken over a extended period of time.

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

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

  • Treatment options
  • Research
  • Risk factors
  • Prevention

These organizations also encourage individuals to:

  • Identify their level of hearing loss risk
  • Get their hearing examined earlier in their lives
  • Wear their hearing aids

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

Scientists, healthcare providers, and government organizations are looking for solutions. They’re also looking for ways to bring hearing-loss associated costs down. This will help increase accessibility to state-of-the-art hearing technologies that greatly improve lives.

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

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 help communities minimize noise exposure for residents. Additionally, they are facilitating research on how opiate use and abuse can raise the danger of hearing loss.

Can You do Anything?

Keep yourself informed as hearing loss is a public health problem. Take steps to slow the development of your own hearing loss and share useful information with other people.

If you suspect you might be experiencing hearing loss, have your hearing examined. If you discover you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them.

The final goal is to avoid all hearing loss. You’re helping others who are dealing with hearing loss understand that they’re not alone when you wear your hearing aids. You’re bringing awareness about the problem of hearing loss in your community. This awareness has the power to change attitudes, actions, and policies.

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