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Understanding How Diabetes Can Contribute To Hearing Loss

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The numbers are compelling. According to the National Institutes of Health, people who have diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing loss as those who don’t.

People with prediabetes--elevated blood sugar levels indicating you’re likely to develop diabetes unless you make significant lifestyle changes--have 30 percent more chance of experiencing hearing loss than those with healthy blood glucose.

You just have to look at the staggering numbers of Americans with diabetes and prediabetes (30 million and 84 million, respectively) to conclude that hearing impairment is on the rise. It doesn’t have to go untreated, though. By visiting a qualified hearing specialist, you can detect and correct hearing loss, whatever the cause.

The Connection Between Blood Sugar and Hearing

Scientists don’t yet know the reason why diabetes and prediabetes make people vulnerable to hearing loss, but they have some strong hypotheses.

The high glucose levels associated with diabetes damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys and eyes. It may similarly damage the small blood vessels in the inner ear. Because diabetes also causes nerve damage, it may also spur hearing loss through damage to the auditory nerves.

Prevention And Treatment Of Diabetes-Related Hearing Loss

If you’re diabetic or prediabetic, preventing damage to your ears and other organs starts with controlling your blood sugar. It’s important to work with your doctor to find the best remedy, from introducing a healthier diet and regular exercise to taking medication.

Often, a person can experience hearing loss without knowing it because the damage is gradual. You may want to assess your hearing habits or speak to loved ones to see if you are showing some of the common signs of hearing loss. These include:

  • Difficulty following conversations with multiple speakers
  • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
  • Having a hard time hearing in noisy environments
  • Listening to TV or music at an extremely high volume
  • Problems hearing on the phone
  • Thinking people are mumbling
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
  • Trouble making out what women or children are saying

If you suspect you have a problem, a comprehensive diagnostic hearing evaluation can determine if this is the case and gauge your level of hearing loss.

Almost everyone with hearing loss, from mild to severe, can benefit by being fitted with good hearing aids. At Hearing Healthcare Centers, we carry a wide array of hearing aids including those made by:

  • Oticon
  • Phonak
  • ReSound
  • Rexton
  • Signia
  • Sonic
  • Starkey
  • Unitron
  • Widex

Today’s hearing aids are smaller and more discreet than ever and many carry impressive digital technology, like wireless streaming and integrated tinnitus management tools.

Take Control Of Your Hearing Health

Managing diabetes or dealing with prediabetes starts and ends with taking control of your health. It’s about exercising the kind of self-care needed to keep you living optimally.

The same can be said for addressing any hearing loss you may be experiencing. By making sure your hearing is at its best, you can continue to engage with the people and activities you enjoy.

Our specialists at Hearing HealthCare Centers are ready to help you face, and hear, the music when it comes to hearing loss! You’d be surprised how much improving your hearing can improve your quality of life. Contact us today to make your appointment.