In part to honor Father’s Day, June is Men’s Health Month. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is meant to “… raise awareness about health care for men and focus on encouraging boys, men, and their families to practice and implement healthy living decisions.”
And one area of health to consider this month is hearing health.
This may not come as a shock, but men are less likely to take steps to deal with hearing issues than women are. This even though men are, according to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, at double the probability for having such issues.
There are a number of risk factors that make men more likely to develop hearing loss:
- Men suffer from diabetes at a somewhat higher rate than women; the condition makes hearing loss twice as likely.
- Studies have tied regular use of common painkillers, known as analgesics (aspirin, acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) with a higher risk of hearing loss in men.
- Long-term exposure to loud work environments (careers like construction, manufacturing, or the military) and recreational pastimes (hunting, sports, small motors like lawn mowers and leaf blowers) present significant risk for hearing loss.
Ultimately, degraded hearing is not the only thing men need to worry about. There is now a wealth of evidence showing that poor hearing — especially later in life — is a significant driver of mental health issues like depression and degraded overall cognitive performance.
So, make June a time to think about your hearing and how to protect it. Or make the man in your life do it.