There are approximately 30 million people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with diabetes, more than 9 percent of the population. More than 80 million more have prediabetes, a condition that will lead to a diabetes diagnosis within five years if gone untreated.
Diabetics suffer from a number of complications — one of those being hearing loss. A study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine strongly indicates that hearing loss is a complication associated with diabetes.
The Connection Between Hearing Loss and Diabetes
More research needs to be conducted, but the results of the study showed that those with diabetes have a hearing loss twice the rate of those who do not have the disease. High blood sugar is known to cause damage to nerves resulting in diabetic neuropathy. Nerves in the leg and feet are the ones most commonly affected. It is now believed that high blood sugar causes damage to the nerves related to hearing.
High blood sugar may also damage the small blood vessels necessary to support the inner ear. This is similar to the damage high blood sugar causes to the kidneys and the eyes. Visual impairment and kidney problems are known complications of diabetes.
Protect Yourself Against Hearing Loss as a Complication of Diabetes
If you have diabetes, the best way to prevent hearing loss is to follow the diet, exercise, and medication recommendations of your physician. The best preventive measure for any diabetes complication, including hearing loss, is to maintain control of your blood sugar levels.
Hearing loss has been found to impact the quality of a person’s life in many ways. For example, those who suffer from hearing loss often suffer from isolation and depression. If you have diabetes, in order to prevent hearing loss or to reduce its negative influence in your life, take the following actions:
- Take a hearing test now so that you have a baseline measurement of your current hearing level.
- Regularly monitor your hearing by having annual hearing tests.
- If you have any symptoms of hearing loss, have your hearing checked immediately. The sooner you have treatment, the easier it is to lessen the impact the loss will have on your daily life and work.
A hearing test takes very little time and is painless. Whether you are currently experiencing symptoms of hearing loss, or need your hearing baseline to be on record, contact us at U.S. Hearing Solutions for a free comprehensive hearing evaluation.