Noise Induced Hearing Loss – Higher risk to Men?


Noise Induced Hearing Loss is caused by exposure to noise over a prolonged period of time. This can be in a working environment or caused during social activities like going to concerts or constantly listening to loud music.

New research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology Annual Meeting in San Diego has been carried out that shows on a comprehensive study of risk factors for noise-induced hearing loss, that men are at a much greater risk of suffering from noise induced hearing loss than women. It is also predominantly white, married men who appear to be at greater risk.

On analysing the data the researchers were able to see that the strongest association of those suffering with the illness was in relation to gender. Men proved to be two and a half times more likely to develop Noise Induced Hearing Loss than women.

Noise induced hearing loss can be prevented and this recent researched association to men can also indicate that men have been at a higher risk of occupational exposure. It is recognised that the exposure to noise over a prolonged period can cause Noise Induced Hearing Loss.

There has been a landmark decision in relation to a case before the Noise at Work Regulations 1990 came into effect, which shows that an employer should be aware that a level of noise above 85 decibels was not safe and they should have provided adequate hearing protection. This ruling has given support to those who may have suffered from hearing loss due to a lower level of noise exposure over a long period of time.

Industries where there may be considerable exposure can include the construction or factory production industries, engineering, agricultural or any other place where exposure to noise is commonplace.

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