More men than ever are becoming aware of their health and making life saving decisions. National Men's Health Week, which takes place June 13-19, 2016, is one reason why men are taking notice.
The purpose of Men’s Health Week is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys, according to menshealthmonth.org.
It gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.
With Father's Day on June 19th Men's Health Week couldn't come at a more important time. It's a well known fact many men don't like visiting doctors. According to
The American Heart Association, reasons men have for ducking the doc include "I don’t have time", "I don’t want to hear what I might be told" and "I’ve got probe-a-phobia" – among many other silly excuses.
Jon Waterhouse, Director of Professional Practice for Connect Hearing, has heard all the excuses. For Waterhouse, hearing health is an important part of overall health and in his experience, men can often be stubborn.
“Men are an interesting group. They will spend their lives taking care of other people but many are not good at taking care of themselves,” said Waterhouse, saying Connect Hearing (Canada) encourages people to drop by a clinic for free hearing tests.
“It's getting better I think, and the message is getting out there but there is still more work needed to get the men we love into the clinics and doctors offices they hate. But it is my deepest hope that our father's brothers, sons, cousins and friends will make their health – including their hearing health - a priority.”
It is so important for men to get their hearing checked. A report in healthyhearing.com says more than 28 million Americans have some type of hearing impairment and approximately 60 percent of them are men. Health experts believe environmental factors may be the major reason why, mostly due to noisy, male-dominated occupations such as construction and factory work.
Waterhouse says what's equally important is communication. While it's critical to get men to make their hearing a priority, getting the conversation started in the first place is an important first step. An interesting article in audicus.com spoke about a recent study conducted at a Massachusetts hearing clinic, which suggests women are better than men at explaining hearing loss to others in a way that fosters better communication. Women more readily offer suggestions to make communication easier, such as asking a friend to speak in their ‘good ear.’ Conversely, men prefer a direct approach—they disclose their hearing loss when it’s necessary, but do not elaborate or make suggestions to ease communication. This may have some impact on why more men suffer from hearing loss—when they first discover that their hearing is getting worse, than might be unlikely or unwilling to explain the problem to their friends, loved ones, or even their doctor.
“We definitely want to have this very important conversation with men – it's a critical step in the fight to put hearing loss into the history books,” said Waterhouse. “National Men's Health Week is something that isn't recognized in Canada, but I hope that we can change that. We need to keep the conversation going, we need to keep people engaged, and we need to encourage people to get a free hearing test at one of clinics. Only then we can truly make a difference.”