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Does Hearing Loss Impact Men and Women Differently?

by April Maguire

For obvious reasons, men and women often have different health concerns. Certain issues, however, tend to affect both genders equally. On the surface, hearing loss would seem to be one of these latter issues, but surprisingly the numbers tell a different story. Based on data from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, it would seem that between the ages of 20 and 69, men are more than twice as likely to develop hearing loss compared to women.

So what accounts for that disparity? Is there something about male genetics that makes them more susceptible to hearing issues? The answer, it turns out, is far simpler than that.

Men and Hearing Loss

Often, we think of hearing loss an age-related issue. The older you get, the more likely you are to suffer from it. While that's true, advanced age is no longer the main contributor to hearing issues. Nowadays, noise-induced hearing loss is more prevalent than ever before, and, according to the data, men are more likely to engage in the types of activities that can damage their hearing.

Take the workplace, for example. For noise-induced hearing loss, jobs in construction, the military and manufacturing are by far the most dangerous, and these professions tend to be dominated by men. Even away from the workplace, hobbies that men engage in more than women, such as hunting, motorcycling and off-roading have a high likelihood of causing hearing damage.

None of this is to say, however, that women get off scot-free when it comes to the danger of noise-induced hearing loss. Any loud environment, such as a concert venue or bar could be noisy enough to cause damage. Additionally, personal listening devices, such as phones and tablets, are enormous contributors to the problem of hearing loss, and women are just as likely to use these devices as men.

So no matter your gender, you should be thinking about your hearing. Untreated hearing loss can cause a number of problems, including cognitive decline, anxiety, social isolation and depression. On top of that, studies have shown that hearing loss sufferers tend to perform more poorly in the workplace, negatively impacting their earning potential. And there is a growing body of evidence which suggests that allowing hearing loss to go untreated could take years off of a person's life expectancy.

If you think you might be at risk for hearing loss, then consult with an audiologist in your area. Not only will a doctor be able to tell you definitively whether or not there is a problem, but he or she will also be able to recommend corrective measures that you should take.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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