As per a new national study, people ages below 50 with hearing loss consume twice more alcohol, drugs, and opioids than their hearing partners. This suggests that health caregivers should pay special attention while treating their pain as well as mental health concerns.
According to the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, a team from VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and the University of Michigan shared their extract from an experiment on 86,186 adults who participated in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Michael McKee, M.D., M.P.H., started leading the research work after noticing the differences. McKee is running the Deaf Health Clinic providing mental and primary health care to Deaf and hard-of-hearing patients of Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center.
As per Mckee,” Hearing problems can be a reason for a number of health issues, related to physical and internal health, which may beget diseases.”” Also, there can be other issues like being isolated from society, which may result in higher rates of alcohol, opioid, and prescription use disorders as well.”
Among all, adults below 50 with hard of hearing or hearing loss were more susceptible than others of the same age group to have continued use of alcohol, or other drugs.
The researchers continued the research on adults below 35 with hearing issues and found them two and a half times more susceptible to substance use disorder.
It has been seen many times that healthcare providers put patients on controlled substances to relieve the pain asap. It seems that they are not able to communicate effectively with deaf patients and try to escape by writing a prescription, suspects Mckee.
According to the research, a lack of awareness about the younger patients’ hearing issues may be the reason for the same.
A U-M Family Medicine physician, Mckee uses a cochlear implant to neutralize his own hearing loss. He says caregivers seem more accustomed to dealing with older patients.
He says,” We’ve to concentrate on effective communication with the young patients to help them to break their issues.
He thinks that care providers should take “universal communication precautions” while talking to each and every patient without judging them on the basis of communication, the intensity of the hearing problems, etc. It will be great if the health care professionals will also have access to de addiction-related care for these young patients.