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Diabetes and Hearing Loss

Did you know that says diabetes and hearing loss are two of the highest health concerns in America? It’s true, according to the American Diabetes Association. While it’s unlikely you connect diabetes and hearing loss, the fact is that these two conditions are closely intertwined. When you consider that 30 million people have diabetes and 34.5 million people have hearing loss, you’ll see this more clearly. Take a look at a few recent studies showing you’re twice as likely to suffer from hearing loss if you also have diabetes than others who don’t have this disease. 20,000 people from various continents around the world took part in the study from the United States, Asia, Brazil and Australia.

Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

Although many scientists believe the correlation is related to high blood glucose levels that come with diabetes, harming the small blood vessels in the inner ear, there is still much more work to be done on this front. While studies conclusively link diabetes and hearing loss, they “why” is still unknown. Just like the glucose levels in diabetics can adversely affect your eyes, kidneys and feet, your ears are also vulnerable to attack. More research is underway to further examine the link between the two conditions; however, they seem to have ruled out old age. It’s no secret that our hearing deteriorates as we enter our older years, but this is not apparently the case with diabetics. Some think if diabetics were to better control their blood sugar levels, they could reduce their risk of hearing impairment. In regards to noisy workplaces, this too has been ruled out. That said, diabetics take medications and diuretics that essentially lower their blood pressure, so these could be to blame as well.

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

If you’re always on the lookout for tell-tale signs and symptoms of hearing loss, you’re already ahead of the game. If you have trouble keeping track of conversations with two or more people, hear mumbling from others, can’t pick out the voices of small children or women, and must crank the volume on the TV or radio up, you could have hearing loss of some degree. Do you have trouble distinguishing words against background noise or a crowd of people? Do you pick up on muffling of sounds every day instead of clear words? Do you have to ask others to repeat themselves? Unfortunately, these are all signs of hearing loss. You wouldn’t want to have to start avoiding certain social situations so you don’t get embarrassed, do you? This is why you should visit an audiologist for diagnosis and treatment so you don’t put yourself or others at risk. If your spouse or friend says you have a hearing problem, heed that warning and go see your doctor.

Testing for Diabetes

Having your hearing tested as a diabetic is imperative because this can aid researchers in determining what the correlation is between diabetes and hearing impairment. During your routine exam, be sure to ask to be referred to a specialist – usually called an audiologist – for further testing and evaluation. Yes, diabetes brings on many other health concerns, all of which are tested for regularly, but hearing tests should never be overlooked at your regular visit.

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 at 11:31 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.