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Hearing Blog

Hearing differences between men and women

August 1, 2022

Men are almost twice as likely as women to have hearing loss among adults ages 20-69.  (JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. December 2016 online).  Exposure to occupational noise, factories, heavy equipment, construction tool, and the use of firearms contributed to these statistics.  Gender also plays a role. 

As we age, men and women both may get age-related hearing loss.  Women near retirement age usually have better high-frequency hearing than men. so, their speech understanding of noise is often better.  But between the ages of 60 - 90 women tend to lose low-frequency hearing faster than men.  Low frequencies provide our volume and some speech signals.   Funny how that works out.  Men are more likely to get a high-frequency hearing loss, (women's voices are high frequency) thus making it harder for them to understand their wives.  Men's voices are low-frequency and women's hearing loss will occur in more of this range once they are in their sixties & seventies.  Huh.  Just got to chuckle over that tidbit of information.  

I believe that as the 'baby boomers’ continue to retire, and more people become educated as to the health benefits of amplification the number of men and women wearing hearing instruments will become more balanced.  Over the last couple of decades, the employment fields have become more diversified.  More women work in factories, run heavy equipment, and shoot firearms.  

Interestingly, even though men are twice as likely to have a hearing loss… it is actually “women who reported a higher prevalence of daily and regular use and a longer daily duration of the use of hearing aids.” ( 2019) 

As of July 2021; 8.9% of men and 5.4% of women over the age of 45 in our country wear hearing aids.  Many more people have difficulties but often wait for 7 years after they realize they are having hearing issues before seeking help. 

With all the information available it almost needs to be studied at smaller different age brackets to get more exact information.  I will have to do research on patients to determine if we fit the 'norm' and have more male patients.  

Studies show that gradually our hearing starts to diminish in our 40s… everyone should have a hearing evaluation as a baseline.  To Hear Better Is To Live Better!!


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