Calling All Men: Let’s Talk Hearing Health
June is Men’s Health Month, a call-to-action for men of all ages to take care of their health.
So, this month, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is reminding men—and the women who care about them—that hearing health is an important part of whole health. In fact, research increasingly shows a link between hearing loss and other significant health issues—from depression to cognitive decline. It also shows that addressing hearing loss often has a positive impact on quality of life.
Below are some eye-opening numbers on men and hearing loss. And further down are three good reasons to talk hearing health with your doctor at your next physical exam.
Some numbers on men and hearing loss
- Men (20-69 years) are nearly twice as likely to have hearing loss as women.
- More than half of men who say they have difficulty hearing think their hearing loss was caused or contributed to by noise on the job or loud recreational activities—like hunting, firecrackers, blaring music, or using earbuds or headphones.
- About half of the men surveyed with untreated hearing loss say they’ve felt down, depressed, or hopeless for several days or more in the last two weeks. Those who used hearing aids were less likely to say they felt that way.
- Similarly, about half of the men surveyed with untreated hearing loss say they’ve been bothered by little interest or pleasure in doing things for several days or more in the last two weeks. Again, those who used hearing aids were less likely to say they felt that way.
3 good reasons to talk hearing health at your next physical exam
- Hearing loss is linked to other serious health issues. A flurry of studies in recent years has linked hearing loss to other serious health issues, including depression, sleep apnea, dementia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, moderate chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and an increased risk of falls, hospitalization and mortality.
- Treating hearing loss can bring many quality-of-life benefits. Research shows that when people with hearing loss use hearing aids, it often has a positive impact on several aspects of their quality of life. Consider just these few: People with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to be optimistic, feel engaged in life, and even get more pleasure in doing things. What’s more, using hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss, according to a BHI study. People with untreated hearing loss lost as much as $30,000 in income annually, the study showed.
- Hearing aids have advanced dramatically, even in just the last couple of years. Today’s hearing aids are high-tech, tiny and discreet, easy-to-use, and perform far better than ever before. In fact, a national survey showed that the vast majority of people who purchased hearing aids in the last year are glad they did (91%). They’d even recommend getting hearing aids to family members and friends (90%).