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Risks of hearing loss in old age are different for men and women

A hearing loss It's something common in old age. This condition is called presbycusis and is part of physiological changes caused by aging . There are several external risk factors that may also be associated with the severity of this hearing loss. A new study, however, found that these factors may be different in men and women.

The research was published in early March in PLOS ONEby researchers from South Korea. The objective was to better understand the factors associated with hearing loss and how gender could influence these factors.

To do this, the researchers analyzed data from health examinations of 2,349 participants over 60 years old , including a body composition test and a basic hearing test. In addition, statistical analyzes were carried out to identify the factors most associated with the risk of hearing loss in men and women.

The study showed that the Low weight was a risk factor for hearing loss among men but in the case of women, both obesity and underweight carried risks for presbycusis. Another difference found in the research was in relation to the smoking : Smoking increased the risk of hearing loss only in men.

In the case of women, the menstruation appears to play a role as well : Those who had their first period earlier were less likely to develop hearing loss later in life. This indicates a possible protective effect of the hormone estrogen against presbycusis.

The authors believe the study can help doctors evaluate smoking, weight and menstruation as factors in screening for hearing loss. However, more studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Furthermore, the authors emphasize that “hearing loss must be prevented, even if it is related to aging”.

According to the Ministry of Health, main measures to prevent hearing loss include:

  • Avoid loud noises;
  • Use headphones carefully, avoiding very high volumes;
  • Keep ears dry;
  • Treat infections appropriately;
  • Avoid using cotton swabs (the habit can damage sensitive parts of the ear and cause hearing loss);
  • Consult the otorhinolaryngologist regularly.

Source: CNN Brasil

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