Astoundingly, diabetes and hearing loss at the top in terms of two health concerns in the United States, advises the American Diabetes Association. Did you know that 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. Correlations abound in recent studies involving diabetes and hearing damage. Researchers just completed some 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. You may have heard that you have twice the chance of having some degree of hearing loss than someone who is not diabetic. This is an alarming finding.
Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss
Factors like old age and a noisy working environment, which have been known to happen to many people, apparently don’t affect the link between diabetes and hearing problems. Many researchers are testing the theory that high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes can harm your inner ear’s sensitive blood vessels, leading to hearing impairment. It’s no secret that diabetics have problems with their eyes, kidneys and feet. Could their hearing also be affected? More research needs to be done in order to reach a more definitive conclusion. 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. Diabetics certainly do take medications and diuretics to lower their blood pressure, which may have an effect on hearing loss.
Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Looking out for the major signs and symptoms of hearing loss means you’re ahead of the game. There are several signs of hearing loss, such as 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 some damage to your hearing. Usually, a friend or partner will tell you if you display signs of hearing impairment. Visit a doctor is you have any symptoms so you can be diagnosed and begin treatment immediately, as you could suffer from some degree of hearing impairment if you have trouble keeping track of conversations with two or more people, constantly only hear mumbling from others, put the volume on the TV or radio way up, or can’t easily pick out the voices of small children or women.
Testing for Diabetes
As a diabetic, you probably undergo many tests at your doctor visits, and fitting one more in seems like a hassle. But if it will help you understand others and read situations better, it’s best to get it done. With a firm diagnosis, your doctor can better understand how your diabetic condition relates to your hearing loss. Ask for a referral to an audiologist for further testing when you’re at the doctor for a checkup. This is so the two conditions and their connection, if any, can be further explored.