One of every five Americans has hearing loss, and it is twice as common among people living with diabetes. Much like age-related hearing loss, diabetes-related hearing takes a toll on higher-frequency hearing. Also, people with diabetes can have a harder time hearing speech in noisy environments such as restaurants and parties.
For the 30 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes, controlling blood sugar is crucial to managing the condition. If uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to other problems such as cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, and hearing loss.
The Link Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss
It’s unknown how diabetes and hearing impairment are connected. According to research, the main culprit is the poor blood flow to the cochlea. This poor blood flow causes hearing loss among diabetic patients and can affect one or both ears. It can occur suddenly or gradually and will appear with or without the inner ear’s balance problems.
As the evidence of a link between hearing loss and diabetes continues to grow, it is recommended that those with diabetes have annual hearing evaluations. Routine hearing checks can help catch potential issues early.
HOW YOU CAN HELP PREVENT HEARING LOSS
Diabetes plays a role in hearing loss; however, there are ways to reduce your overall risk of hearing impairment:
- Manage your diabetes with the help and advice of your medical doctor.
- Reduce your exposure to excess noise. This is one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss.
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet.
- Avoid tobacco use, a risk factor for cancer, hearing loss, and other medical issues.
- Stay physically active. Excess weight not only increases the risk of diabetes; it can also affect your hearing.
Dr. Joe Griffith, AuD, CCC-A, is a certified audiologist who makes “house calls”. Call him at (504) 738-4557 or visit www.accessiblehearingaids.com to schedule your hearing test today. You are just a phone call away from the hearing help you need and deserve.