Men have commonly been accused of selective hearing, but is there a difference in how men and women typically hear? As it turns out, yes there is. Research performed at the Indiana University School of Medicine has demonstrated through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that men listen with the left temporal lobe in their brain, whereas women listen with both sides. Researchers are uncertain why the difference, whether it is the result of how we are raised or if it is hard wired.

Thanks to a 2008 study from Johns Hopkins University, we now know that men have on average, a 5.5 times greater likelihood of developing hearing loss. There are several explanations for this, with the most likely being an increased risk of exposure to damaging noise at work and recreation. Another large factor is resulting from men being more likely to develop medical conditions which contribute to hearing loss such as heart disease and diabetes. The connection between heart disease and hearing loss has been well documented over the past 70 years and results from a decrease in oxygen being sent to the ear through partially clogged blood vessels. People who suffer from diabetes are twice as likely to develop permanent hearing loss because of damage to the blood vessels within the ear.

Whether you are a man or a woman, whether you use one side of your brain to hear or both, neither has an advantage if you are healthy. Exercise and a balanced diet will go a long way towards reducing hearing loss stemming from health conditions.

John Thistle BC-HIS

Newcastle hearing