Hearing health professionals are most likely aware that May is National Hearing Month, but the month also contains National Women’s Health Week. In recognition of both campaigns, The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is raising awareness of the link between hearing loss in women and certain chronic diseases during May.

National Women’s Health Week is a weeklong health observance coordinated by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health.

Research shows that people with certain chronic disease, such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as depression and emotional health, memory loss, and cognitive decline, may all have an increased risk of hearing loss. According to BHI, more than 10 million American women have some level of unaddressed hearing loss, and most are below retirement age.

Sergei Kochkin, PhD, BHI’s executive director, commented in the press release, "Hearing health is an intrinsically important component of women’s overall health and well-being. We hope that by participating in National Women’s Health Week, we can make a difference by helping women take appropriate steps to care for their health—including their hearing health."

The 13th annual National Women’s Health Week begins on Mother’s Day, May 13, 2012, and is celebrated until May 19, 2012.

As part of the women’s health effort, National Women’s Checkup Day is Monday, May 14, 2012. BHI is encouraging hearing health professionals across the country to organize hearing screenings in their communities, host health fairs, disseminate women’s health information, and publicize National Women’s Health Week in their practices and communities.

BHI also is urging women to take the online hearing check at www.hearingcheck.org. The website lets people quickly and confidentially determine if they need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing professional.

A list of National Women’s Health Week events around the country can be found at  www.womenshealth.gov/whw.

SOURCE: The Better Hearing Institute