If you thought you were going to reach retirement years without having to wear hearing aids, you may have to rethink that picture. And, chances are high that you may experience hearing loss even sooner than your parents or grandparents did.
According to a new study recently cited in Healthline, experts are expecting hearing loss to increase significantly over the next 20 years. How much? Sadly, some estimates say it’s possible that the rate of hearing loss in U.S. adults over age 20 will almost double during that time frame.
Why are we expecting hearing loss to increase?
Even though there has been an effort to educate young people on the causes of hearing loss, many of those causes still exist. In addition, it’s easy to think ‘that won’t happen to me’ or ‘I don’t have to worry about that now.’
Many cases of hearing loss can’t be prevented, such as congenital defects that affect someone’s ability to hear. In other cases, however, hearing loss could be prevented, or at least lessened, if more people were aware of the causes:
- Exposure to loud noise
- Excessive ear wax
- Swimmer’s Ear
- Ear infections or other internal damage
- Head trauma
- Ototoxic medications
- And more …
Hearing healthcare services will be in high demand
Since healthcare professionals are expecting hearing loss to increase, experts are gearing up for an increased demand for hearing services. Options available include audiology services, hearing tests, newborn hearing screenings, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation, among others.
If your hearing is still within the normal range, here are a few things you can do to help prevent hearing loss:
- Get a hearing test (to establish a baseline so changes can be evaluated).
- Wear appropriate hearing protection when needed.
- Limit your exposure to loud noises.
- Take care of your health and exercise regularly. Health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are often connected with hearing loss.
On the other hand, if you already have hearing loss, that shouldn’t be the end of your story! Continue to maintain your hearing health with regular visits to your audiologist, periodic hearing tests, and routine adjustments to your hearing aids or other hearing devices. If it’s time for your next visit, schedule an appointment today!
Read the full story here.