Conclusive connections run rampant in recent studies involving diabetes and hearing damage. Researchers just completed some studies of 20,000 people from the United States, Asia, Brazil and Australia to determine whether diabetes and hearing loss are intertwined. The answer is yes but researchers still don’t know why this is true. Individuals who are diabetic have twice the chance of having some degree of hearing loss than someone who is not diabetic. Pretty alarming, huh? This puts diabetes and hearing loss at the top in terms of two health concerns in the United States, advises the American Diabetes Association. Did you know that 30 million people have diabetes and 34.5 million people have hearing loss in this country? In fact, now there’s actually been a link proven between the two.
Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss
Factors like old age and a noisy working environment, which have been known to happen to many people, apparently don’t affect the link between diabetes and hearing problems. Many researchers are testing the theory that high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes can harm your inner ear’s sensitive blood vessels, leading to hearing impairment. It’s no secret that diabetics have problems with their eyes, kidneys and feet. Now their hearing could also be taking a hit. More research needs to be done in order to reach a more definitive conclusion. Some professionals say that better controlling one’s blood sugar levels may prevent the risk of hearing impairment, but again the results are inconclusive at this time. Working in a noisy environment was ruled out in the case of hearing loss in diabetes – another factor in this condition. Diabetics certainly do take medications and diuretics to lower their blood pressure, which may have an effect on hearing loss.
Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Has your spouse told you that you may have a hearing problem? It may be true. Do you have these tell-tale signs and symptoms of hearing loss? difficulty following conversations with two or more people, hearing mumbling from others, trouble picking up on the voices of small children or women, the need to crank the volume on the TV or radio up, trouble distinguishing words against background noise or a boisterous crowd of people, the need to ask others to repeat themselves, picking up on muffling of sounds on a daily basis instead of clear words. You could, therefore, suffer from hearing loss, leading to the avoidance of social gatherings. This is why you should visit an hearing instrument specialist for diagnosis and treatment, as you never should put yourself or others at risk of a dangerous situation, such as driving or using machinery.
Testing for Diabetes
Routine testing for hearing loss should now be required for all diabetics since these studies have shed light on the issue. If found to have hearing loss, they can get treated by a specialist right away. While this should be a crucial part of any doctor visit for diabetics, it’s not. Maybe with these new findings, doctors will be advocates for testing for hearing in all their patients regularly to establish a possible connection.