Why Men Are More Likely Than Women to Have Hearing Loss
Learn why men are more likely than women to suffer from hearing loss and what you can do to protect your hearing.
It might surprise you to learn that, even though men and women have the same ear structure and general hearing ability at birth, men are much more likely than women to suffer from hearing loss. But why is this, and what can be done about it? Find out how to protect your own hearing and more.
CAUSES OF HEARING LOSS IN MEN
Hearing loss has many causes, but most of them apply equally to men and women. However, there are a few differences that help explain why men suffer from hearing loss more often.
NOISE-RELATED HEARING LOSS
One of the most common causes of hearing loss in men and women is exposure to loud noise. Noise-related hearing loss happens when the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear are damaged by repeated or extreme noise exposure.
So why are men more likely to experience it? One theory is that it’s job related. Men are more likely to take jobs that involve noise exposure, such as construction or oilfield work, military jobs, and trade work. They may also be more likely to enjoy loud hobbies like hunting, off roading, or carpentry. Over time the noise exposure from power tools, machinery, or firearms can cause hearing loss.
MEDICATION & HEARING LOSS
Another possible cause for higher rates of hearing loss in men is higher use of certain medications. A study conducted in Massachusetts by Harvard University in association with several medical providers found that regular use of aspirin, acetaminophen, and NSAIDs such as Advil or Motrin were more likely to have hearing loss than people who used these medications sparingly or not at all. And because men are more likely to use pain relievers than women, this could explain part of why men are more likely to experience hearing loss.
Finally, men are less likely to seek treatment for hearing loss than women. It’s well-reported that women are more likely to seek medical help than men overall, and the same holds true for hearing loss. Women are also more likely to be up front about hearing loss in conversation and day-to-day life, whereas men may just say they are “hard of hearing.”
Unfortunately for men, their reluctance to seek treatment can cause their hearing and health to deteriorate faster. Untreated hearing loss often gets worse over time as people try to compensate by raising the volume on devices or simply ignoring symptoms. It also has serious side effects such as reduced balance, memory problems, and personality changes or mood swings.
HOW TO RECOVER FROM AND PREVENT HEARING LOSS
If you think you or a loved one might be suffering from hearing loss in Oklahoma, there are a few things you should do:
- Take Hearing Protection Seriously – The first step is to protect the hearing you have left by wearing hearing protection any time you’re around loud noise, such as at a job site, when hunting, or at a loud concert.
- Avoid Unnecessary Noise – When you can’t wear hearing protection, the best thing to do is avoid loud noise and not spend more time in noisy environments than necessary.
- Stop Smoking – Tobacco use is linked to hearing damage and hearing loss. If you’re a smoker, now is the time to stop.
- Ask About Medication – If you’re taking medication, ask your doctor about whether it’s safe for your ears. Also consider stopping over-the-counter medications that are bad for your ears such as Aspirin or acetaminophen.
- Get Hearing Help – Finally, visit an audiologist to discuss your options and learn about how you can improve your hearing.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can restore your hearing ability, contact us today at Audio Recovery. Our audiologists are ready to help you take the first steps towards better hearing. Call (405) 949-1906 today to schedule an appointment, or visit us on Facebook to see the latest news and tips.