New research indicates that oral hormonal therapy may have a link to hearing loss, which affects over 20 percent of the adult population. Though women seem to be at a significantly lower risk of hearing loss than men, the new study has found that prolonged use of this therapy may raise this population’s risk. You can help prevent hearing loss as an audiologist.
“The finding from this observational study that women who underwent menopause at a later age and used oral hormone therapy had greater hearing loss was unexpected but should lead to more testing in a randomized, clinical trial,” stated Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society.
The study to which she refers is the first large-scale study to examine the use of hormone therapy in relation to hearing loss among menopausal and postmenopausal women. The women, aged between 27 and 44 at the beginning of the study, were clinically followed for 22 years. Nearly 23 percent of the participants reported some degree of hearing loss during the follow-up period.
Prevent and Treat Hearing Loss as an Audiologist
Consider a career in communication sciences and disorders, specifically in audiology, to help those who suffer from hearing loss. Audiologists (doctors of audiology) are experts in nonmedical diagnosis and management of disorders of the auditory and balance systems. They frequently work with other medical specialists, speech-language pathologists, educators, engineers, scientists and allied health professionals and technicians.
As an audiologist, your work might include evaluating hearing, counseling patients and their families, fitting hearing aids, evaluating and treating balance disorders, determining an individual’s needs for assistive devices and teaching communication strategies. With an excellent job outlook and an average salary of $61,000-$96,000, a career in this field is a great opportunity to make caring your career.