Hearing Loss & Men

  • June 11, 2019
Hearing Loss & Men

A recent report made by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has shown that men are more likely to suffer from hearing loss than women. This may seem confusing, since men and women both have the same ear structure. The causes, according to the study, are due to environmental factors, and not biologically caused.

Noisy Work Environments

Almost half of the Americans living with hearing loss suffer
from noise-induced hearing loss, which is caused by longtime exposure to
excessive noise, slowly deteriorating their ability to hear. Quite often this sound
comes from noisy work environments, which are generally male-dominated settings,
such as construction sites and factories. Other loud environments men are around
are target shooting, hunting, using power tools, and military service are also
considered common noise-induced hearing loss sources.

Another cause for the increased rate of hearing loss in men is
the use of analgesics, such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
(NSAIDS), and acetaminophen. In 2010, a study funded by the Massachusetts Eye
and Ear Infirmary Foundation discovered that regular use of analgesics was
associated with an increased risk of hearing loss.

Hearing Loss Explained

A Massachusetts hearing clinic recently conducted a study
that suggested women are better than men at explaining hearing loss to others
in a way that fosters better communication. Women readily offer more suggestions
to make communication easier, such as asking a friend to speak in their ‘good
ear.’ Men generally prefer a direct approach, disclosing their hearing loss
when it’s necessary, but tend to not elaborate or make suggestions that would
ease communication. This may contribute to why more men suffer from hearing
loss, as to when they first discover that their hearing is getting worse, than
may be unlikely or unwilling to explain the problem to their loved ones,
friends, and even their doctor.

Protecting from Hearing Loss for Men

How can we reverse the trend that men experience hearing
loss more than women, and protect their hearing? Due to excessive noise being
one of the most influential factors in causing hearing loss in men, an important
precaution to be taken is using protective gear while working in noisy
environments. If working on a factory floor or in construction, using ear
protection can safeguard your hearing and prevent further loss!

Employers are obligated legally to provide ear protection for
workers when noises reach a certain decibel level, but if an individual is
uncomfortable with the noise levels at work, they can certainly bring their own
protection, such as earmuffs. When using firearms, always wear ear protection,
it can even safeguard your ears when mowing the lawn. Prolonged noise from
tools such as a lawn mower or a chainsaw can certainly damage one’s hearing.
Once it’s gone, a person’s hearing cannot be restored, so make sure to protect
your hearing!

If you are concerned about hearing loss, and would like help
in protecting your hearing, visit our website
today to schedule an appointment with a hearing healthcare professional. They
can give you advice and recommendations based on the career you are in, and the
proper ways to protect yourself from loud noises.