This week is National Women’s Health Week, which is led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office. It offers an opportunity to encourage women to take steps to improve their health and make health a priority.
Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in the United States. Hearing loss can occur at any age, but becomes more common with age. Hearing loss in women by the numbers:
  • About 1 in 11 adult women (18 and older) have hearing loss.
  • About 1 in 13 women in their 40s have hearing loss
  • About 1 in 10 women in their 50s have hearing loss.
  • About 1 in 8 women in their 60s have hearing loss.
Research has connected hearing loss with many other health concerns, including: depression, dementia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and an increased risk of falls and hospitalization. There is also a significant amount of research showing that when people address hearing loss, it often has a positive impact on their quality of life. Mile High Hearing urges all women to commit to a healthy hearing lifestyle. This includes protecting your hearing when exposed to loud noises, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with exercise and good nutrition, annual physical exams with your physician, and regular hearing evaluations with an audiologist.
Here are some of the top reasons that women should make hearing healthcare and a healthy hearing lifestyle a priority.
  1. Women with hearing loss are more likely to be depressed. Research shows that hearing loss is associated with depression among U.S. adults, but particularly among women. The use of hearing aids has been shown to reduce depressive symptoms. 
  2. Addressing hearing loss may benefit long-term cognitive function. Research shows a strong link between hearing loss and dementia, a greater degree of hearing loss leads to a high risk of dementia. 
  3. The ear may be a window to the heart. A healthy cardiovascular system (heart, arteries, and veins) has a positive effect on hearing. Conversely, inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss. 
  4. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss. Having diabetes may cause women to experience a greater degree of hearing loss as they age, especially if the diabetes is not well controlled with medication. 
  5. Fitness level and waist size may be affecting your hearing. A higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference in women are each associated with higher risk of hearing loss. A higher level of physical activity is associated with lower risk of hearing loss. 
  6. Cancer treatments can damage hearing. Certain chemotherapy treatments for cancer may damage healthy hearing sensory cells, which can result in hearing loss. 
  7. Hearing loss may put you at greater risk of falling or hospitalization. People with even mild hearing loss are nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling, and hospitalization is more likely for older adults with hearing loss. 
  8. Hearing loss in women is tied to common pain relievers. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are associated with an increased risk of hearing loss in women. The link is even stronger among those younger than 50 years. 
  9. Addressing hearing loss improves quality of life, earnings, and relationships. Eight out of 10 hearing aid users say they are satisfied with the changes that have occurred in their lives specifically due to their hearing aids—from how they feel about themselves to the positive changes they see in their relationships, social interactions, and work lives. 
  10. Today’s high-tech hearing aids are better than ever. Hearing aids combine high-performance technology and style with durability and ease-of-use, helping women stay socially, physically, and cognitively active.