The link between Hearing Loss & Diabetes has been speculated since the 1960s, and several researchers have contributed towards explaining the correlation. It has been found that hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes compared to those who do not have the disease.
According to a study from 2008 conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), they found:
Among the diabetic participants, 54% had suffered a loss in hearing high-frequency sounds. In non-diabetic participants, only 32% were affected. They tested over 4,700 participants in this study.
Senior author Catherine Cowie, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), states, “Hearing loss may be an under-recognized complication of diabetes. As diabetes becomes more common, the disease may become a more significant contributor to hearing loss.”
Having considered these facts, if you are diabetic, it is wise to have your hearing tested regularly.
The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation states the following 3 major types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes
In this condition, the patient’s body is unable to produce the amount of insulin required for the movement of glucose into cells. This happens as a result of an autoimmune system in which the human body attacks the beta cells producing the insulin hormone.
Type 2 diabetes
Patients diagnosed with this type of diabetes can produce their own insulin but the quantity of insulin produced isn’t sufficient to move glucose into the cells.
This type is generally seen in pregnant women and is usually diagnosed after a female gives birth. In this condition, the female’s hormones are resistant to insulin. Elevated blood sugar levels might lead to difficulty in hearing.
Hearing loss is a slow process and hence you may tend to dismiss the symptoms as a factor of your environment or people around you, rather than a defect in your ability to hear. Symptoms show up through occurrences like having to ask people to repeat themselves, or finding it difficult to hear at noisy places, or turning up the volume of the TV too louder than normal. It is more likely that your family members and friends will notice your loss of hearing before you recognize it.
To be sure, you can take our easy Online Hearing Assessment test here.
You should consult with an audiologist for a full hearing exam. Based on your extent of hearing loss and your lifestyle, your audiologist can recommend the right way forward.
While the direct connection between diabetes and hearing isn’t established, researchers suggest that high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in your inner ear, leading to hearing loss.
Along with getting your hearing checked every year, you can do the following:
>Manage your weight
>Monitor your blood sugar levels
>Work on reducing hypertension
>Be regular with your checkups and medication
Remember, early treatment is a key factor in prevention and recovery.
As a diabetic or pre-diabetic, we recommended getting your hearing checked once every year. It is also a good practice to keep both, your diabetes doctor and your audiologist in the loop with your condition and progress, so they have a better picture of your complete Anchorhealth.