On June 15 we celebrate Father's Day.
It's important that we recognize the contribution Dad makes in our lives, and it's equally important that he understands how important his health is to us.
Many fathers, while very good at taking care of others, need some encouragement when it comes to taking care of themselves. And for some men, being told they need to deal with a health issue is like trying to get a cat to swallow a pill.
The fact is men are more likely than women to experience hearing loss. One reason for this is women are more likely to make their health a high priority.
News Medical published an article entitled “National survey finds women more likely to see doctor on regular basis than men.”
The report says that women were three times more likely to seek medical help than men. Even though men on average die younger than women and have higher mortality rates for heart disease, cancer, stroke and AIDS, trying to get a man to a doctor can be difficult. But why?
"There could be as many answers to that question as male patients that I see, but more often than not it's that it's not a priority for them," said Timothy Vavra, a system physician and associate professor of internal medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
While this aversion to doctors can be looked at as a stereotypical "guy behaviour," the truth is suffering in silence is something too many people – men and women – choose to do. And the sad part is there is no reason for it, because there are treatments available to combat hearing loss.
And when it comes to hearing health, men should be more concerned. According to healthyhearing.com, studies show men are affected by hearing loss than women.
“We want Dad to know that his health – including his hearing – is important, and that's a message that we at Connect Hearing want to drive home this Father's Day,” says Director of Professional Practice M.J. DeSousa. “We want fathers to continue enjoying their favourite sports on television, the sounds of nature, and the sound of family laughter. We also want them to enjoy a productive career and to stay connected to all the sounds they love.”
Besthealthmag.ca says that about 23 per cent of adults have some hearing loss, and 60 per cent of those are men. One reason for this skew in genders is the fact men tend to have louder hobbies (e.g., snowmobiling, using power tools, boating).
Despite these statistics, it can be difficult to get men to even acknowledge there is a problem.
“Communication is the key, and this Father's Day presents a wonderful opportunity for families to speak about hearing concerns,” says DeSousa. “You don't have to beat him over the head or be overly pushy. Opening the door to communication on hearing loss can be as simple as letting him know that you care about him. But whatever you do, be sure to open the door to a discussion.”
So this Father's Day, as tempting as it might be, don't just get him another tie. Get him something better – the understanding that hearing health is available to him.