Give Yourself A Break. Rest.

Did you know that being female can be an advantage when considering hearing loss? Females have double the protection against hearing loss- or in other words, males have twice the risk of developing hearing loss throughout the lifespan1.

Women are also much more likely to seek help for their hearing. It is postulated that this is because women place more value on their social relationships and are therefore highly motivated to correct any loss of hearing at an early stage. Women also chat to friends and family about their hearing loss more easily and are therefore likely to find an audiologist earlier! As we age, women also tend to hold onto their hair for longer, and so perhaps women feel that hearing aids will be unseen, whereas men who have lost their hair and some of their hearing, may feel that wearing devices make them more self-conscious. Newer, more discreet devices are slowly changing this balance!

Strangely, females tend to have greater hearing sensitivity compared with males (as a group), and faster neural responses2. However, they are more susceptible to damage caused by excessive sound. Generally, men are more efficient at localising where sound comes from. Score 1 for the guys!

Gals tend to develop strong bilateral representation in the auditory system, earlier (both pathways become developed quite quickly) leading to better language and verbal abilities at an earlier age than guys. 3 Could this be why we talk so much?

Finally, a US study revealed that you are more likely to consult with a female audiologist than a male one. With a ratio of 80% to 20%, women audiologists outweigh men by 4 to 1, although the same study also identified that female audiologists earned almost 25% less than their male counterparts for their work as hearing professionals 4.

If you think you have a hearing difficulty, don’t leave it. Both male and female brains organise information by relying on sensory input. Maintenance of the neural networks in your brain needs good hearing. We encourage you to see an audiologist TODAY- regardless of your biological sex!

– By Dr Natalie Buttress