Who’s More Likely to Experience Hearing Loss?
Hearing Loss Prevalence in Men
Men are twice as likely to experience hearing loss as women! They tend to work in some of the louder environments like construction worksites and factories, which definitely play a part in hearing loss.
Additionally, they are more likely to regularly take aspirin, acetaminophen, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – additional contributing factors to hearing loss under the age of 60.
Men are also more likely to participate in loud activities like using power tools, attending rock concerts, and riding motorcycles without hearing protection. However, women have unique life stages where they can sustain hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Prevalence in Women
When pregnant, women have the potential to experience sensorineural hearing loss because of certain changes in the body. The hematological, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems are all altered during pregnancy, which can then lead to altered circulation within the cochlea. This is not a common condition, and most women return to normal hearing levels post-partum.
Menopause is another instance where hearing may change in women. Estrogen decreases, leading to a decrease in hearing levels. Generally, women who take hormone replacements do not incur hearing loss. Women who endure hearing loss should talk to their doctor before taking the plunge and purchasing hearing aids. Hearing loss could be a symptom of a more complicated health concern.
How Men and Women Compare: Gender Differences in Hearing Abilities
As opposed to men who lose higher frequencies first, women lose their lower frequencies at the beginning stages of hearing loss. This means that women with hearing loss often cannot understand vowels or hear low rumblings in the distance.
Women are more likely to realize they are experiencing hearing loss than men and are willing to talk to their doctors about getting assistance. Men are not necessarily vainer than women, but they are more hesitant to admit age and buy a hearing aid.
Men tend to care more about power, and admitting faults can be challenging, so they hold on to the idea of perfect health and hearing. Women are more used to masking their age through cosmetic surgery, dying their hair, or getting glasses, and their hair can cover their hearing aid. For women, hearing aids are another way to prolong an active life! Men just need to jump on the same bandwagon.
How Wearing Hearing Aids Can Help
In a study completed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2011, data was drawn from close to 5,000 men and 3,500 women who wear hearing aids. Comparatively, women wear hearing aids for longer periods at a time and more days than men.
Men do not tend to reap the same rewards as women due to their infrequent usage and gaps in wearing their hearing aids. After analysis, it was found that the most common reason for not wearing the aid is a poor fit or low satisfaction with the product. Women have a greater likelihood of getting an adjustment to ensure proper wear. If you experience any type of hearing loss or hearing aid discomfort, talk to a professional! There’s no need to be embarrassed by getting proper help.
By: Diana Michel, Updated in 2021