ISLAMABAD: New research examines the link between menopausal age, the use of oral hormonal therapy, and hearing loss in the first large-scale study of its kind.
Additionally, in the women that are affected by hearing loss, this tends to be more prevalent after menopause. During this time, levels of progesterone and estrogen start to decline a further reason to believe that these sex hormones play a role in hearing loss.
This has led some researchers to believe that hormone replacement therapy would lower the risk of hearing loss. However, other studies have challenged this hypothesis, also pointing to the serious side effects of hormone therapy (HT).
The study found that the use of oral HT in postmenopausal women, as a well as a prolonged use of oral HT, correlated with a higher risk of hearing loss.
This means that HT increases the risk of hearing loss, and that the longer people use them, the higher the risk is.
Additionally, the study found that older age at menopause was also linked with a higher risk of hearing loss. This association surprised the researchers, and the causal mechanisms behind it remain unknown.
North American Menopause Society Executive Director Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton said that, "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. Information about the potential effect on hearing is important to include in a discussion regarding the risks and benefits of hormone therapy for symptomatic menopausal women."