Question: What are the key things to know about screening for hearing loss in men?
Answer: Hearing loss is fairly common in this country. Men tend to have more hearing loss than women. One reason for that is that men tend to have jobs that are involved with lots more noise in the environment. Noise is one the major causes that we have significant hearing loss.
This can be one huge episode of loud sounds that can lead to some hearing loss, or in most cases this is a persistent sound over months to years at a lower level. However, this trauma to the ears leads to damage to the neural processes -- small hairs in the inner ear that have to do with the perception of hearing -- and this eventually leads to hearing loss. Unfortunately, many people with hearing loss do not have this evaluated properly. They end up having problems with their social activity -- they don't want to be around people, they tend to want to avoid any activity that requires them to listen and hear. You should screen for this or have friends screened for this if you note they are always asking: "What did you say?" If they are always cupping their hands to their ear as if they are trying to hear, or they are sitting in the front row of a theatre where they need to hear, or if they turn the TV set up very loud. There are good screening processes for this particular condition. Unfortunately, although there are tools to help improve hearing loss, most people avoid hearing aids. They don't like the way they look; they feel that they are a stigma to them. However, hearing loss screening loss screening is important, especially for men who work in noisy environments.