Are Men Or Women More Likely To Need Hearing Aids?
Are men or women more likely to have hearing loss?
This article explains that despite men being far more likely to experience hearing loss than women, they are far less likely to actually buy a hearing aid. We explain why men are more likely to suffer from hearing loss, and also why they are less likely to buy.
Men are more likely to experience hearing loss than women
The gender gap in hearing loss has been a topic that has intrigued audiologists for years. A recent John Hopkins study has found that men are five times more likely to develop hearing loss than women.
It is not only a gap in hearing loss overall but also a difference in the way men and women experience it.
Women generally experience hearing loss at lower levels of frequency whereas men lose their hearing in higher frequencies first.
Men also tend to be less likely to understand consonants whilst women are less likely to understand vowels, issuing at least one explanation for miscommunication between the sexes!
Nature vs. Nurture
Medical differences between the sexes, like the effects of smoking and heart conditions such as high blood pressure or heart diseases are known causes of hearing loss and more common in men. This is due to the fact that inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss, explaining the link between heart diseases and hearing loss.
Men are also often exposed to more extreme noise from equipments and the environment, especially if they work in construction. Working with power tools, hammers and heavy machines, those working in construction are regularly confronted with excessive noise.
As only 9% of those employed in construction are women, hundreds of millions of, predominantly male, workers may be exposed to dangerous environments that can lead to and accelerate their hearing loss.
Men and the Hearing Loss Stigma
Not only are men more likely to develop hearing loss, they also appear to be more burdened with the Stigma that can accompany it. A 2015 Harvard Study found that women were more than twice as likely to disclose their hearing loss and were more forthcoming with helpful suggestions about how to accompany for it.
Men in the study who did disclose their hearing loss overwhelmingly did not suggest coping strategies for the person trying to converse with them.
Despite their higher risk factor and the lower levels of disclosure regarding their hearing loss, men are also more likely to avoid being fitted for a hearing aid then women.
The hearing aid adoption rate by men is far lower proportionally than it should be. Hearing aids can help prevent early onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s, protect from feelings of depression and anxiety at the social pains of suffering from hearing loss and significantly increase the individual’s quality of life.
So, a message to all men out there- hearing aids really can improve your quality of life, relationships and overall health. Book a hearing screening or get in touch with us today to speak to one of our experts.
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