Have You Heard? Diabetes and Hearing Loss

??????????????????Have you heard? Hearing problems are twice as common in people with diabetes compared to those without it, according to a study done by investigators at the National Institutes of HealthThis image is associated with an external link.. Also, of the 86 million adults in the U.S. who have prediabetes, the rate of hearing loss is 30 percent higher than in those with normal blood glucose.

About 34.5 million Americans have some type of hearing loss. October is National Protect Your Hearing Month, an important reminder to take steps to preserve your hearing health.

Unfortunately, researchers aren’t quite sure why people with diabetes have a higher rate of hearing loss. It could be that the high blood glucose levels associated with the disease cause damage to the small blood vessels in the inner ear, similar to the way it can damage the eyes and the kidneys. But more research needs to be done.

Because hearing loss occurs slowly over time, you may not notice symptoms. It could be that your family members and friends notice the hearing loss before you do!

Be on the lookout for these signs of hearing loss:

  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves.
  • Trouble following conversations that involve more than two people.
  • Thinking that others are mumbling.
  • Problems hearing in noisy places such as busy restaurants.
  • Trouble hearing the voices of women and small children.
  • Turning up the TV or radio volume too loud for others who are nearby.

Do any of these apply to you? Talk to your primary care doctor. You may then want to seek help from a hearing specialist like an audiologist, a licensed hearing aid dispenser or a doctor who specializes in hearing problems. From a full hearing exam, you’ll learn more about your hearing loss and what can be done to treat it.

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2 Responses to Have You Heard? Diabetes and Hearing Loss

  1. I have diabetis type 2 and I have most of all of the signs of loosing hearing. What can I do? I am trying to get help but there are no doctors in Puerto Rico.

    • Marcos Taquechel says:

      The three main things you can do are: 1) keep a tight control on blood sugars 2) Stop smoking if you do 3) Avoid being exposed to loud noises.

      The problem with hearing loss due to diabetes is that the ear cannal and soroundig areas don’t have extra blood syply irrigation. Once high glucose in the blood damage your ear vessals, your hearing is affected accourdingly. Another problem with this type of hearing loss is that it can also affect your balance.

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