If you are one of the millions of people with diabetes then you may need to get your hearing checked. Studies show that people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop a hearing problem compared to those without the disease.
For several decades, health experts have explored the possible relationship between diabetes and hearing loss. There has been growing evidence in recent years that strongly suggests that diabetes contributes to hearing loss.
Diabetes prevents the body from being able to produce and manage insulin correctly. This causes glucose to build up in the bloodstream rather than feeding the body’s cells, which is what it should do. In severe cases, this can lead to kidney failure, blindness, heart problems, stroke and amputations.
There are three types of diabetes:
All three types of diabetes lead to a rise in blood sugar levels which you must manage.
There have been much research into the link between hearing loss and diabetes. Most studies agree that regardless of their age, people with diabetes are more likely to have some degree of hearing loss, compared to those without the disease. This is believed to be as a result of high blood glucose levels which can cause damage to the small blood vessels in your inner ear.
In your inner ear, there are hair cells which depend on on good circulation to be able to maintain your health. These hair cells are also responsible for translating the sounds your ear collects. These are sent along the auditory nerve to the brain for you to interpret as an identifiable sound. As sensory hair cells don’t regenerate, once they get damaged or simply die out, your hearing becomes permanently affected.
If you haven’t noticed your hearing decreasing, then it may be that your hearing is fine or you’ve simply not noticed its gradual decline. You may have hearing loss if you:
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to contact a licensed hearing care professional for a hearing test and evaluation.
If you do have both diabetes and hearing loss, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one has affected the other. There are a number of reasons you may be losing your hearing, such as:
A hearing test and evaluation will be able to determine your degree of hearing loss and which treatment option would best suit your hearing loss and lifestyle. There are a number of ways to treat hearing loss, including:
While certain forms of hearing loss could be temporary, early treatment is often key to improving your hearing.
Although sensorineural hearing loss may be permanent, there are things you can do to protect your remaining hearing. The best way to avoid hearing loss and other complications is to:
Having diabetes doesn’t necessarily mean your hearing is or will become impaired. However, effectively managing your diabetes and having regular hearing tests will not only help to protect your overall health, but also help to protect your hearing health, too.
It's time to finally treat your hearing loss. Sign up for a free consultation with a licensed hearing care professional today to determine if you have hearing loss. It’s the start of your journey towards better hearing.