Research has shown a link between hearing loss and diabetes.
One study showed that people with diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing loss as people without the condition. The same study showed that people who were classified as prediabetic had a 30% higher rate of hearing loss compared to those with normal blood sugar levels.
Why Does Diabetes Increase Hearing Loss Risk?
Uncontrolled high blood sugar caused by diabetes can damage blood vessels in the body. This includes those found in the inner ear. This damage can affect the circulation to the hair cells in the ear, which play a vital role in the hearing process. Lack of circulation can permanently damage these cells, causing hearing loss.
Diabetes can also damage nerves in the inner ear and disrupt the signals that carry sound input from the ear to the brain.
Manage Diabetes to Protect Hearing
To reduce your risk of hearing loss it’s important to take all the necessary steps to manage your diabetes. This may include:
- Regularly monitoring your blood sugar and A1C levels
- Stocking up on healthy local produce at Winslett’s Market
- Avoiding sugary foods and drinks
- Taking all medication as prescribed
- Getting regular physical activity
- Visiting your doctor if any new issues or problems arise
Take Control of Your Hearing Health
Hearing loss is a gradual and progressive condition. Sometimes it happens so slowly you may not notice. Keep an eye out for early signs that include:
- Asking others to repeat themselves often or thinking that everyone is mumbling
- Difficulty following group conversations, especially if there’s background noise
- Struggling to hear higher-pitched voices
- Having others comment that the TV or radio is too loud when you’re listening
If any of these signs sound familiar, make an appointment to get your hearing tested.
Additionally, if you are over the age of 60 or are regularly exposed to loud noises either at work or when engaging in a hobby, it’s a good idea to have your hearing screened every few years, even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms.
If you have additional questions about hearing loss or wish to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, contact Elevate Audiology today.