The ‘M’ word: Menopause and Hearing Loss

As so often happens when women hit mid to late 40s, we talk about menopause.  One friend stated she was positive her hearing changed during menopause.  She did not have a baseline from before her change so there was no way to positively check it, but I found her comment intriguing.  Upon my research I did find a study in Sweden that concluded that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) did help protect post menopausal woman from some hearing loss around 2K and 3K Hz.  

As always there are counter studies that state HRT does cause hearing loss.   It might be a case of what type of hormones are used in HRT, but more study is needed to uncover the absolute cause and effect when it comes to HRT and hearing loss.  The author of this particular study felt that the presence of progesterone, as opposed to estrogen alone, increased the effects of hearing loss.

 

Hearing Loss and Menopause

 

As if women don’t have enough to worry about when it comes to menopause,

 

“Hearing loss can set in, due to the ear canal tissue’s becoming thinner and drier. Many people have no hearing loss until they are in their sixties, but almost one-third of women over sixty-five report hearing problems.”

 

Every woman is different and there are so many factors that also come into effect during this transition, family history, medication, and general health to name a few.  But this is another reason to reach out in our communities, to primary doctors and to gynecologists to have a base-line hearing test in younger people.

Maybe it is because I am faced with “the change” but I don’t feel “Old” and the more I talk with people the more I am convinced we are never going to feel “old enough” for some of life’s challenges so we need to quit making all of this about age.  So let’s spread the word about having early baselines and more frequent hearing tests so women can make more informed choices about their hearing health.

 


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2 Comments

  1. Florida Audiologist Fred Rahe, Au.D. gave the results of his study several times.

    Fluctuating Sensorineural Hearing Loss Associated with Menstrual Cycle: 1992 Florida Language Speech and Hearing Association Annual Convention, 1993 American Academy of Audiology Convention

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