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Women entering the menopausal years can feel like everything is changing all at once including their ability to hear.  But is there a connection between a decline in your ability to hear and menopause?  It turns out that the answer, according to a study out of Sweden is yes, menopause can cause hearing loss.

Estrogen is known to have a protective effect on the auditory (hearing) system.  The authors theorized that the reduced levels of estrogen that occurs during menopause would have a negative effect on the auditory system.

To test this theory, researchers administered hearing tests to 104 women who had been in menopause at least one year and were, on average, 51 years old. Hearing tests were repeated a second time roughly seven and a half years later.  They determined that,

Menopause appears to act as a trigger of a relatively rapid age-related hearing decline in healthy women, starting in the left ear.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Is there anything you can do to prevent a loss of hearing as you go through menopause?  In relationship to your hormone levels, the answer is not clear.

There are conflicting studies that report both protective benefits from Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and the opposite, that HRT is linked to a decline in hearing levels.

Limiting your exposure to excessive amounts of noise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are contributing factors in reducing the amount of hearing loss you’ll experience over time.  But that’s true whether you’re a woman or a man!

Every woman is different.  If you’re entering the menopausal years get your hearing checked even if you don’t think you’re having a problem hearing.  A hearing test now can serve as a baseline against which any future changes you might notice can be compared.