Diabetes and hearing loss are interconnected. Just ask the researchers of recent studies of 20,000 people

from various continents around the world, including United States, Asia, Brazil and Australia. A few recent

studies show you’re twice as likely to suffer from hearing loss if you also have diabetes than others who

don’t have it. The results show the two conditions are indeed related but no one’s sure why. As two of the

highest health concerns in this country, says the American Diabetes Association, diabetes and hearing loss

need to undergo more study to find that conclusive link. Amazingly, 30 million people have diabetes and

34.5 million people have hearing loss across the nation.

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

You may get frustrated picking up on background noise when there’s a crowd of people, or hearing muffled

sounds instead of clear words when people speak. Are you always saying “what?” or “please repeat

yourself”? Then you need to be on alert for the signs of hearing loss, such as having trouble keeping track

of conversations involving more than two people, failure to pick up on the voices of small children or

women, and cranking the volume on the TV or radio. Hearing loss can be embarrassing, sometimes causing

the avoidance of many social situations. Before this happens to you, go to an audiologist for diagnosis and

treatment. If not, you could pose a serious health and safety risk to yourself and others.

Testing for Diabetes

If your regular doctor doesn’t do a hearing test on you, ask for one. If it comes back questionable, don’t

leave without a referral to an audiologist to undergo additional evaluation. As a diabetic, you probably

go through several tests at your doctor visits, and fitting one more in can be a pain. But if it will help you

understand others and read situations better, it’s a good idea to get it done. With clear-cut diagnosis, your

doctor can better understand how your diabetic condition relates to your hearing loss.

Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

There is definitely a link between diabetes and hearing loss, but the exact reason why is still largely

unknown. This could be due to the high blood glucose levels that come with diabetes, as these levels have

been known to damage the small sensitive blood vessels in the inner ear to incur hearing loss. Conclusive

evidence is still not clear. Did you know a diabetics’ ears can be adversely affected by high glucose levels

just like your eyes, kidneys and feet can? To learn more about the connection between the two conditions,

more research is called for. Old age isn’t to blame, and neither is a noisy working environment, according

to researchers, but what could help is doing a better job controlling blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of

hearing impairment. No one is really sure, though, because of the many medications and diuretics diabetics

ingest to lower their blood pressure.

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