Why Do Men Have Hearing Loss?

Guys, if you think you have hearing loss (or if someone close to you thinks you do), get your hearing checked—because you’re a lot more likely than women to have hearing problems. In fact, men aged 20-69 are almost twice as likely as women to have hearing loss.

Why men are more likely to have hearing lossMan smiling while holding a clipboard in a warehouse

One of the main culprits for hearing loss in men is noise. In general, men are more likely to be exposed to noise. This can be occupational—jobs that involve frequent exposure to loud noise, such as construction, manufacturing, military service, or music industry jobs, can significantly contribute to hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss can also be caused by outside-of-work activities, such as attending loud concerts or sporting events, shooting firearms, riding motorcycles, and using power tools.

There are other factors that can contribute to men’s hearing loss, as well, including:

  • Hypertension: High blood pressure significantly correlates with untreated hearing loss. It can exacerbate hearing loss in older adults.
  • Smoking: If you’re a smoker, your risk of hearing loss is 70% higher than nonsmokers.
  • Obesity: A higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference increase the risk of hearing loss.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing loss than those without this condition.
  • Ototoxicity: More than 200 medications, including some over-the-counter drugs, can be harmful to your ears.
  • Osteoporosis: This bone disease can result in sensory/neural hearing loss, the most common form of permanent hearing loss.

Why should men get hearing loss treated?

Hearing loss is more than just an inconvenience. If left unchecked, hearing loss can lead to a variety of problems, including social isolation, depression, dementia, memory issues, an elevated risk of falls, and even brain atrophy. Fortunately, hearing loss can be diagnosed and treated—helping you live a fuller, healthier life.

How hearing loss is diagnosed

At Iowa ENT Center, diagnosing hearing loss begins with a comprehensive evaluation, which involves several steps to identify the type and extent of the hearing loss. It includes:

  • Medical history: First, your Iowa ENT Center physician will gather detailed information about your medical history. This could include asking about any recent exposure to loud noises, the medications you’re currently taking, any history of infections, or whether hearing loss runs in your family.
  • Physical examination: Next, a physical exam of your ears will be conducted. This allows the physician to look for potential causes of hearing loss, such as earwax blockage, inflammation, or structural issues.
  • Hearing tests: The most crucial part of the diagnosis is the hearing test or audiological exam, which is conducted by one of our audiologists.

If hearing loss is confirmed, further tests might be conducted to pinpoint its cause and extent. Based on your specific diagnosis, your Iowa ENT Center physician will develop a personalized plan to help manage your hearing health effectively.

If hearing aids are recommended, our hearing aid specialist can help you choose, fit, and manage your hearing aids based on your specific diagnosis. And we’re always available to help with your hearing aids after you take them home.

Don’t delay treatment

Recognizing and addressing your hearing loss can make a huge difference in quality of life. We strongly urge men to adopt safe listening practices, schedule annual hearing check-ups, and keep an eye on other health factors that could contribute to hearing loss.

The hearing experts at Iowa ENT Center are here to help. Many of our patients who’ve received hearing care tell us they wish they’d done so sooner. Call us today at 515-223-4368 to schedule your appointment.