Have you heard this? You possess twice the chance of having some degree of hearing loss than someone who is not diabetic. This is a telling finding, but not surprising considering diabetes and hearing loss are in the top two when it comes to health concerns in the United States, says the American Diabetes Association. Additionally, 30 million people have diabetes and 34.5 million people have hearing loss in this country? In fact, now there’s actually been a link proven between the two. Researchers just reported studies of 20,000 people from the United States, Asia, Brazil and Australia to determine whether diabetes and hearing loss are intertwined. The answer is yes but researchers still don’t know why this is true.
Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss
It should be said the studies in question don’t point to age as the mitigating factor, however – even though hearing loss can deteriorate as we get older. Some professionals say that better controlling one’s blood sugar levels may prevent the risk of hearing impairment, but again the results are inconclusive at this time. Working in a noisy environment was ruled out in the case of hearing loss in diabetes – another factor in this condition. However, it should be noted that many diabetics take medications and diuretics to lower their blood pressure, which may have an effect on hearing loss. Still, in the face of all the studies suggesting a link between diabetes and hearing loss, researchers still don’t know exactly why diabetes causes hearing loss or vice versa. Many think that high blood glucose levels that are common with diabetes actually hurt the small blood vessels in the inner ear, just like they can damage your eyes, kidneys and feet over time. This is why more research needs to be conducted to further explore the correlation.
Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Sadly, you probably won’t even know you have a hearing problem until you’re set straight by your spouse or close friend. Take that advice and get checked by a doctor, especially if you have these tell-tale signs and symptoms of hearing loss: difficulty following conversations with two or more people, hearing mumbling from others, trouble picking up on the voices of small children or women, the need to crank the volume on the TV or radio up, trouble distinguishing words against background noise or a boisterous crowd of people, the need to ask others to repeat themselves, picking up on muffling of sounds on a daily basis instead of clear words This means you could be a victim of hearing loss, leading to the avoidance of social gatherings. This is why you should visit an audiologist for diagnosis and treatment, as you never should put yourself or others at risk of a dangerous situation, such as driving or operating heavy machinery.
Testing for Diabetes
Routine testing for hearing loss should be a must for all diabetics should. If found to have hearing loss, they can get treated by a specialist right away. While this should be a crucial part of any doctor visit for diabetics, it’s not. Maybe with these new findings, doctors will be advocates for testing for hearing in all their patients regularly to establish a possible connection.