by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
Does the female hormone progesterone protect the ear from noise damage? It has long been known that females have better hearing than males, beginning in the second decade of life. This has always been ascribed to less participation in noisy hobbies such as hunting or playing the drums or using power tools, and in adult life to greater occupational noise exposure in males.
But maybe hormones play a role.
This report from the University of Iowa describes research being undertaken by Prof. Steven Green, in the biology department, to see if progesterone plays a role.
Whether males would be willing to take a female hormone to protect their hearing is another discussion for another time.