Mother’s Day is celebrated in May, but Mother’s Day is also the start of National Women’s Health Week. One out of eight women report feeling like they have hearing loss. “When it comes to hearing loss, men tend to lose their ‘hearing’ in the higher frequency levels first. For women, hearing loss generally occurs in the lower-level frequencies” (hearingaiddonations.org). This means that typically for speech, women are less likely to understand vowels. While this is a big observation in the hearing world, regardless of the amount or type of hearing loss, it is still important to get it checked out. With Mother’s Day and National Women’s Health Week around the corner, let’s talk about six facts pertaining to women and hearing loss:
- Women with hearing loss are more likely to be depressed: Research has shown that hearing loss and depression are closely linked. However, women are more likely to be depressed compared to men.
- The ear may be a window to the heart: Research currently studying those problems with the ear can be a precursor to problems with the heart. Finding and treating hearing loss early can bring awareness to other health issues.
- If you have diabetes, you are twice as likely to have hearing loss: About 11% of women are diagnosed with diabetes. Having diabetes can cause hearing loss to occur at a higher incidence than without diabetes.
- Many of the same lifestyle behaviors that affect the heart impact hearing: Back to the heart. Keeping your heart healthy through activities such as healthy eating and exercise, can lower your chance of hearing loss.
- Hearing loss in women is tied to common pain relievers: Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen are proven to increase the chance of hearing loss in women. Research has found that this link is strong in women under 50 years old.
- Addressing hearing loss may benefit cognitive function: The use of hearing aids is thought to reduce and/or delay cognitive decline. This is thought to be due to the auditory nerve being stimulation through the amplification provided by the hearing aids.
While one-third of women under 50 have hearing loss, and two-thirds of women under 60 have hearing loss, it is important to get your hearing tested. Many people do not notice their hearing change due to a gradual decline. However, changes in hearing need to be treated with immediate attention. A notice in change of hearing does not automatically mean hearing aids, but it can help guide you in your overall health and well-being. Women are not the only ones who need to get their hearing checked, everyone does! If you or a loved one are having ear or hearing difficulty, please contact your local audiologist or hearing care professional today!