There is definitely a link between hearing loss and diabetes. In fact, according the National Institutes of Health (NIH), hearing-loss rates are twice as common among people with diabetes. Today, we will be discussing the connection between diabetes and hearing loss and list 3 ways you can minimize hearing loss if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes.
Diabetes and Hearing Loss
The Mayo Clinic defines diabetes mellitus as a group of diseases that affects how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). The connections between hearing loss and diabetes does not separate type 1 or type 2 diabetes, both types of diabetes make patients equally susceptible to hearing loss. Diabetes is a widespread health concern in America. According to the American Diabetes Association, close to 30 million people living in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes. When you look at over 34 million people in the U.S. with some type of hearing loss, you will see that there is an overlap since those are two very large groups of people. In addition to that, 84 million adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with prediabetes, and hearing loss is 30 percent higher in that segment compared to those with normal blood glucose levels. However, research shows that it is much more than a coincidence. There are specific symptoms and ailments for those people with diabetes that also affect their hearing. Research is ongoing to understand the exact link between the two, but it is believed that the following key points are the main factors connecting diabetes and hearing loss:
- The high blood sugar in patients with diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves throughout the body, this includes the ears.
- Diabetes causes nerve damage because of the vascular implications associated with the disease and therefore, damage to auditory nerves can cause hearing loss.
- Patients diagnosed with diabetes that are having a hard time managing their blood sugar levels may be more likely to experience hearing loss.
- Patients diagnosed with diabetes should take extra precautions in protecting their ears and hearing, including regular hearing evaluation assessments.
How to Prevent Diabetes from Affecting Your Hearing
Now that we understand there is a definite connection between diabetes and hearing loss, there are three specific ways you can prevent or minimize your hearing loss.
- If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, keeping your blood sugar under control can help prevent hearing loss in addition to keeping the disease under control. This means practicing a good diabetes management routine that includes a healthy diet, exercise, and regular checkups with your doctor to monitor your glucose levels.
- Smoking is a factor that contributes to hearing loss in people with or without diabetes.
- Avoid loud occupations and environments to prevent damage to your ears or any further hearing loss.
Consult with the Hearing Aid Counselors
Clearly, there is a connections between diabetes and hearing loss. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, monitoring your hearing is something you should get done regularly. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient hearing center locations. At Hearing Aid Counselors & Audiology, we have a team of experienced hearing care professionals that can answer all your questions and work with you to find the best solution for your listening needs.