Exploring the link between hearing loss and diabetes is easy when you have dedicated researchers with 20,000 people at their disposal. Although most people don’t correlate diabetes with hearing loss but the two conditions are actually closely related, which is why researchers undertook a study from thousands of people from the U.S., Asia, Brazil and Australia. The American Diabetes Association says both diabetes and hearing loss are two of the highest health concerns in America. Take a look at the stats: 30 million people have diabetes, and 34.5 million people have hearing loss. Recent studies illustrate that people are twice as likely to have hearing loss if they suffer from diabetes than those who do not have this disease.
Testing for Diabetes
First off, if you happen to be diabetic, a hearing test should be in your immediate future, which can assist researchers in finding out what the exact correlation is between the two conditions. When you visit your doctor, ask for a referral to an audiologist for further testing. While diabetes can be to blame for many health problems, such as heart disease and vision loss, many doctors still neglect hearing tests as part of a full exam for diabetics.
Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss
A noisy workplace was considered to be the culprit, but this was subsequently ruled out as a mitigating factor. Another possible cause could be the medications and diuretics that lower the blood pressure, and these could be the culprits causing the hearing loss. Even though there are many studies linking diabetes and hearing loss, researchers still aren’t sure exactly why diabetes causes hearing loss or the other way around. Many believe it has something to do with high blood glucose levels that come with the territory with diabetes, harming the small blood vessels in the inner ear. This is similar to how those levels can adversely affect your eyes, kidneys and feet over time. However, more research needs to be done to further examine the link between the two conditions. Researchers say age doesn’t play a role in these links, even though it’s been known for some time that hearing loss occurs as we age. One theory is that people should better control their blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of hearing impairment, but the jury is still out on this one.
Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Ask yourself some important questions: Do you feel like you have to ask others to repeat themselves? Do you pick up on muffling of sounds on a daily basis instead of clear words? You could be a victim of hearing loss. This may even cause you to avoid social situations, so make sure you visit an audiologist for diagnosis and treatment. You don’t want to put yourself at risk of a dangerous situation, such as driving or operating heavy machinery. You probably won’t even know you have a hearing problem until you’re set straight by your spouse or close friend. Take their advice and get checked. Some other hearing loss signs include difficulty following conversations with two or more people, hearing mumbling from others, trouble picking up on the voices of small children or women, and the need to crank the volume on the TV or radio up.