Hearing management

Updated 06 December 2017

Noise hurts men's hearing more

New research suggests that men - especially married white men - are much more likely to develop noise-induced hearing loss than women.


New research suggests that men -- especially married white men -- are much more likely to develop noise-induced hearing loss than women.

But there's some good news: Another study finds that older men who take high doses of folate can decrease their risk of hearing loss by 20%.

The figures regarding hearing loss in men and women come from a study of hearing-test data from 5 290 people aged 20 to 69. An estimated 13% of them will suffer from noise-induced hearing loss, which researchers think affects about 24 million Americans.

The condition, caused by exposure to loud noise, is preventable.

Among the subjects, men were two-and-a-half times more likely than women to develop this type of hearing loss. Married, non-Hispanic white men had the highest risk, the study authors pointed out.

Leafy veg to prevent hearing loss?
In another study, researchers found that increased doses of antioxidant vitamins don't improve a man's chances of avoiding hearing loss. But folate -- a type of vitamin B -- reduced the risk by 20% in men older than 60.

The findings came from a study of 3 559 men with hearing loss. Higher doses of antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamins C, E and beta carotene, had no effect, the researchers said.

Foods with high levels of folate include leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and asparagus; dried or fresh beans; peas; liver products; and fortified cereal products.

The researchers pointed out that their study is the largest to look into links between diet and hearing loss.

The findings of both studies were presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery Foundation annual meeting. – (HealthDay News, October 2009)

Read more:
Stem cells may cure deafness


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Hearing Expert

Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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