It’s commonly believed that hearing loss is only a problem within the older population, but nothing could be further from the truth. We live in a world of excessively loud noises. We are bombarded by loud music at concerts, at the gym, and when wearing headphones. Even the sounds of busy city life and traffic can be loud enough to affect hearing. And many professions, including factory work, emergency vehicle driving, and construction work increase the risk of overexposure to noisy work environments, leading to noise-induced hearing loss. Now more than ever, younger people are facing hearing loss.
People across all age groups have decreased hearing. Age-related hearing loss in the older population affects approximately 35% of people over the age of 64. Worldwide, 700 persons have hearing loss, 8.5% being between the ages of 20 and 30. In the US, one out of ten people has hearing loss. Cases can range from mild to severe and the causes are varied, including trauma and genetics.
If you’re young and have trouble hearing, you’re not alone.
Many young adults face hearing issues
There are actually large numbers of young adults facing some sort of hearing loss. Unfortunately, stigma often gets in the way of treatment.
Young and middle-aged adults often ignore the signs of hearing loss, and many go as long as ten years before getting their hearing tested. There are many reasons for this. Some simply do not realize that they cannot hear as well as they used to because the changes have come on so gradually. Others are afraid of knowing the truth and having to wear a hearing aid, even though hearing aids are less noticeable today than ever before. Others still just can’t be bothered to book a hearing test.
Hearing loss in young and middle-aged adults leads to many common issues in daily life. Students may not be able to hear in the classroom very well and are afraid to advocate for themselves. Individuals may have problems finding employment and may refuse to disclose hearing loss and request assistive devices, leading to reduced performance. Parents could have trouble hearing their children speaking or their babies crying. And people of all ages might not be able to hear their friends and family members well during group events or parties. This could lead to social isolation. Rather than continuing to ask others to speak up, they skip out on dates and parties altogether.
Proactive testing and treatment can help
Getting a hearing test as part of your regular health routine is recommended—you may not even realize that your hearing is reduced. This is especially important if you work in a noisy environment, have a family history of hearing problems, or have a medical condition associated with the ear.
Accepting hearing loss can be difficult. However, if you’re straining to hear conversations, having difficulty hearing in a noisy background, or find yourself often asking others to repeat themselves, it would be wise to get your hearing tested. If you have concerns about your hearing, getting a hearing test is the first step to treating the problem.
While only 10% of cases can be fixed medically or surgically, wearing a hearing aid can help you get back to living life to the fullest. Hearing loss does not have to affect your schooling, employment, relationships, or friendships. Proactive testing can also allow you to treat hearing loss in its early stages to help ensure that it doesn’t get worse with time. Early detection is critical to the success of treatment.
Today’s hearing aids are sleek, tiny, and barely noticeable, and there are payment plans available. Schedule an appointment with one of our doctoral-level audiologists at Associated Audiologists for a comprehensive hearing exam. We care about your hearing, and we’re here to help.