McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

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Hearing loss is presently a public health concern and scientists believe that it will become a lot more common for people in their 20’s to be using hearing aids.

The majority of people think of the elderly when they consider severe hearing loss. But over the past few years, there has been an increase in hearing loss impacting all age groups. Increased hearing loss among all ages further illustrates that hearing loss isn’t an “aging issue,” but a growing crisis.

Among adults 20 and older, researchers forecast that hearing loss will rise by 40%. The healthcare community sees this as a serious public health problem. One out of five individuals is, according to John Hopkins medical research, having a hard time communicating because of extreme hearing loss.

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

Hearing Loss Can Cause Added Health Issues

Serious hearing loss is an awful thing to cope with. Communication is frustrating, exhausting, and demanding every day. People can often withdraw from their friends and family and stop doing the things they enjoy. If you don’t get help, it’s almost impossible to be active while enduring significant hearing loss.

People with untreated hearing loss are afflicted by more than diminished hearing. They’re also more likely to experience the following

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

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

In addition to the affect on their personal lives, individuals experiencing hearing loss might face increased:

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

These factors demonstrate that hearing loss is a significant obstacle we should deal with as a society.

Why Are Multiple Generations Encountering Increased Hearing Loss?

There are numerous factors causing the present increase in hearing loss. The increased instances of some common conditions that cause hearing loss is one factor, including:

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

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

Increased prevalence of hearing loss also has a lot to do with lifestyle. Exposure to loud noises is more prevalent, especially in work environments and recreational areas. Modern technology is often loud, and we’re being exposed to loud music and other sounds in more places. It’s often the younger people who have the highest degree of noise exposure in:

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

In addition, many people are choosing to use earbuds and turn their music up to dangerous levels. And a larger number of people are now using painkillers, either to treat chronic pain or recreationally. Continued, regular use of opiates, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin have also been linked to a higher danger of hearing loss.

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

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

  • Risk factors
  • Prevention
  • Research
  • Treatment options

Individuals are being urged by these organizations to:

  • Wear their hearing aids
  • Have their hearing evaluated earlier in their lives
  • Identify their degree of hearing loss risk

Hearing loss will get worse with any delay in these actions.

Solutions are being sought 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 dramatically improved.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists and organizations to create comprehensive strategies. Decreasing the risk of hearing loss among underserved groups is being tackled with health services, education, and awareness.

Among their efforts, they’ve developed research-based guidelines for communities, which help local leaders understand the health impacts of noise. They work with communities to reduce resident’s noise exposure and teach 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.

What You Can do?

Hearing loss is a public health issue so stay informed. Share helpful information with other people and take steps to slow the development of your own hearing loss.

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

The main goal is to stop all hearing loss. You’re helping others who have 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. Policies, actions. and attitudes will then be transformed by this awareness.

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