People of all ages can experience hearing loss, no matter their gender. Aging, illness, hereditary conditions, and trauma can all cause some degree of hearing impairment in both women and men. However, studies have found that men are more likely to lose their hearing than women.
Audiologists have been studying these differences in hearing loss based on gender for several years, and they’ve come up with a few conclusions why men and women hear differently. Here is everything you need to know about the gender gap in hearing loss.
According to a 2008 study by Johns Hopkins University, men are five and a half times more likely to develop hearing loss than women. Why is this? A few different factors contribute to this enormous gap between men and women’s hearing loss.
Men are more likely to have health issues that lower their ability to hear. Two of the most common diseases that contribute to loss of hearing are diabetes and heart disease. Both of these conditions men are highly susceptible to.
Men often work in conditions with higher noise levels than women do. These loud sounds can be damaging to their hearing. Men with noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) commonly had jobs in the military, construction, manufacturing, and farming.
In addition to their health and work conditions, their recreational activities can also affect their hearing. Men who enjoy shooting, hunting, going four-wheeling or off-roading, driving a motorcycle, workshopping, or going to concerts or sports games are more likely to suffer from hearing loss.
One of the most significant differences between how men and women hear differently is the frequencies of noise they can distinguish. Women can typically hear above 2,000 Hz. As they age, it begins to be harder for them to hear lower frequencies. In contrast, men lose their ability to hear higher frequencies as they age. For this reason, they have a hard time hearing and understanding women and children. So, while you thought your husband wasn’t listening to you, he actually may not have been able to hear you clearly enough.
This difference in hearing loss can cause several communication problems, but with a bit of patience and assistance, men and women can communicate effectively as they continue to age.
Both men and women can lose their hearing, but they are not both willing to seek help. Women are more likely to visit a hearing care professional to get help with their hearing loss. They are also more likely to let their friends and family know they have a hard time hearing. This allows everyone to make accommodations, such as choosing a restaurant with a quiet environment and talking more clearly.
Men are more hesitant to admit they have trouble hearing. For this reason, they suffer miscommunications and experience a lower quality of life than women. They may also feel more tired, isolated, and depressed. Not seeking help for their hearing loss can even decrease their lifespan.
Not treating hearing loss can have serious implications on your relationships and well-being. Getting your hearing checked and treating your hearing loss can protect your physical and mental health in the long term.
No matter your gender, you should have a hearing assessment done if you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss. You can take a free online hearing test and then discuss your results with a hearing care professional. If they recommend you start wearing hearing aids, you should take this advice to not only improve your hearing but to save your relationships. Buying hearing aids online has never been easier, so you will be sure to find a hearing aid with which you are comfortable.
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