By the audiologists at Winter Haven Audiology & Ridge Audiology — Kevin T. Barlow and Scheyere-Ann Moir
Did you know? Hearing loss — which affects about one out of every five Americans — is twice as common among people living with diabetes, making healthy habits and regular hearing checkups all the more crucial for overall wellness. Read on for more facts about diabetes and ways to keep your hearing at its best.
– Over 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, a chronic metabolic disease that isn’t yet curable but can be managed.
– Controlling blood sugar is crucial to managing diabetes, which, if uncontrolled, can lead to other problems such as cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, and hearing loss.
– Hearing loss is not only twice as common among those with diabetes but 30 percent higher among adults with prediabetes.
– Like age-related hearing loss, diabetes-linked hearing issues commonly take a toll on higher-frequency hearing.
– People with diabetes can have a harder time hearing speech in noisy environments such as restaurants and parties.
It’s not yet known all the ways diabetes and hearing impairment are connected, but research has identified poor blood flow to the cochlea as the main culprit in hearing loss among diabetic patients.
Healthy Ways to Fight Back
Diabetes may play a role in hearing loss, but you can fight back by helping reduce your overall risk of hearing impairment. Some prevention tips:
– Manage your diabetes if you have the disease, using strategies created with your medical doctor.
– Reduce exposure to excess noise, one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss.
– Eat a balanced, nutritious diet, which contributes to better ear functioning.
– Avoid tobacco use, a risk factor for cancer, hearing loss, and many other problems.
– Stay physically active, because excess weight not only ups the risk of diabetes but can tax your hearing.
Get your hearing evaluated by a licensed audiologist at least once a year — just like regular care for your eyes or teeth — for early testing, detection, and treatment of any problems.
Diabetes-associated hearing loss could affect one or both ears, may occur suddenly or gradually, and could appear with or without balance problems of the inner ear, but routine professional hearing checks can help catch potential issues early.
Hearing Health Care
Schedule a hearing checkup with your audiologist at least once a year.
Consider bringing a companion who can provide emotional support, another perspective on your hearing difficulties, and a familiar voice when trying out hearing technology.
Tell your audiologist about your most challenging listening situations — for example, noisy restaurants, phone conversations, or other circumstances.
Describe any changes in your hearing or balance since your last evaluation.
Ask the audiologist to share exam results with your primary doctor and other providers on your health care team.
Seek tips from an audiologist on best ways to manage your hearing health and further reduce the risk of hearing loss. Our hearing care team at Winter Haven and Ridge Audiology are available and accepting new patients. Give us a call at (863) 594-1976 or submit a contact form online at WinterHavenAudiology.com to schedule your appointment today.
Winter Haven Audiology
510 1st St S | Winter Haven
704 SR 60 E | Lake Wales
Johns Hopkins Medicine. One in Five Americans Has Hearing Loss.
https://www. hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/one_in_five_americans_has_hearing_loss. Accessed April 4, 2018.
American Diabetes Association. Diabetes and Hearing Loss.
Accessed April 4, 2018.
American Diabetes Association. Statistics About Diabetes. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/.
Accessed March 12, 2018.
Mayo Clinic. Diabetes. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20371444. Accessed April 4, 2018.
National Institutes of Health. Hearing Loss Is Common in People With Diabetes.
https://www.nih. gov/news-events/news-releases/hearing-loss-common-people-diabetes. Accessed April 4, 2018.
Sanju HK, Kumar P. Annual Audiological Evaluations Should Be Mandatory for Patients With Diabetes.
Accessed April 4, 2018.
Healthy Hearing. Obesity and Hearing Loss. https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/50949-Obesity-and-hearing-loss. Accessed March 12, 2018.