Gender Differences In Hearing Loss - What Are They?
In the US alone, 38 million individuals are affected by hearing loss, and the majority do not even address it or notice that they're hard of hearing.
But does gender have a part to play when it comes to hearing loss? Who is more likely to get hearing loss first - men or women?
Well, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD), men are almost twice as likely as women to have hearing loss among adults aged 20-69. But did you know that men are also less likely to talk about their hearing loss?
That means that there are probably a lot of men out there who haven’t addressed their hearing difficulties and are currently struggling to communicate with others.
Regardless of whether you're a man or a woman, living with untreated hearing loss can do significant damage to your health.
Today we’re going to talk about how gender affects hearing loss as a whole and why it’s essential to get diagnosed with hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Causes: Why are men more prone to hearing loss than women?
Traditionally, men tend to work jobs that often have a lot of noise or potential for head trauma, such as:
- The military
- Construction sites
- Industrial settings
Men are also more likely to embark on more dangerous recreational activities that could cause trauma to the ears. For example, firing guns at a gun range or during a hunt can cause damage to your hearing if you’re not wearing the proper protective gear.
Long-time exposure to these noisy environments will damage your hearing. Men often damage their hearing due to the lifestyle they have, resulting in high-frequency hearing loss.
Men are also more likely to develop diseases that contribute to hearing loss, such as diabetes and heart disease.
The main reasons men lose their hearing more often than women have nothing to do with biology but more to do with stereotypical lifestyle factors.
It’s not just men who’ll lose their hearing this way
Women aren’t immune from high-frequency hearing loss - even if they typically don’t have a loud lifestyle. If a woman has a job or a recreational activity that involves a lot of noise, they will probably end up in the same situation.
However, men are actually more likely to lose their high-frequency hearing first. Women, on the other hand, tend to lose their low-frequency hearing first.
What’s the difference?
High-frequency hearing loss impacts your ability to hear consonants, and low-frequency hearing loss impacts your ability to hear vowels.
So, even if you’re a woman, if your lifestyle involves being around construction or another loud profession, you’ll be more prone to losing your hearing.
How to Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Noise induced hearing loss is a permanent hearing loss so it is important to try to prevent it as best as possible. Repeated exposure to noise above 85 decibels can cause noise-induced hearing loss.
This can be avoided by taking precautions such as using hearing protection. When exposed to hazardous noise whether through occupation or recreation, it is very important to have the proper hearing protection.
Why you should always get your hearing tested - regardless of gender
There are a few things that can cause you to lose your hearing, including:
- Exposure to noise
- Head trauma
Even though men are more likely to experience exposure to noise and head trauma, nobody can escape aging. Age is actually the most significant cause of hearing loss among adults aged 60 to 69 age group.
If you’re noticing that you’re finding it harder to hear, communicate or speak with your loved ones because of your hearing, you should get your hearing tested and start taking steps towards a solution.
77% of people over 50 have not had their hearing tested by a professional. The sooner you get your hearing checked by a professional audiologist, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy more communication with your loved ones.
What are the consequences of untreated hearing loss?
If you fail to get your hearing tested regularly, especially if you’re getting older, then you could end up facing some unfortunate consequences.
Untreated hearing loss can seriously damage your lifestyle and make day-to-day tasks much harder and more complicated.
If you have difficulty hearing, you’ll probably experience distorted or incomplete communication that will impact your life. When hearing loss goes undiagnosed and untreated, the individual with hearing loss is at risk of isolation and withdrawal.
Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss can also cause:
- Avoidance of social situations and withdrawal from social events
- Reduced alertness which causes a safety risk, for example, being unaware of traffic
- Memory issues and the inability to learn new tasks
- Increased anger, negativity, and irritability
- Increased stress and depression
- Increased fatigue due to the extra effort it takes to listen
- Loneliness and isolation
- Reduced performance at work
- Damage to overall health
Hearing loss can also be related to other serious health issues, such as:
- Heart disease
Plus, in older adults, hearing loss can cause people to fall more often and potentially injure themselves.
Individuals that live with untreated hearing loss also face a higher risk of developing other physical or cognitive issues. This is why it’s so important to get your hearing tested as soon as you or a loved one have any doubts.
If you are concerned you may be experiencing noise-induced hearing loss or know anyone exposed to hazardous noise often please schedule an appointment with our audiologists to order your own custom hearing protection. At the hearing solution we can provide custom hearing protection for a wide range of hazardous noise activities or occupations.
At The Hearing Solution, we have an audiologist on staff that will be able to look at your hearing and diagnose you with hearing loss. Once we know the extent of your hearing loss, our team will be able to treat it and prescribe you with a hearing aid that will help improve your quality of life.
All our hearing aids will be fitted and synced to your needs allowing you to experience the world the way you should.
Book in for a hearing test today at The Hearing Solution by calling 916 646 2471 or by scheduling online here.
Interested in learning more? Attend one of our regular hearing solution events to learn more about our unique approach to hearing loss or give us a call at 916-646-2471.Contact Us Now