It’s overwhelming when you speculate just how many people suffer from hearing loss? Same thing about diabetes? Well, the numbers are pretty high. A total of 30 million people have diabetes, and 34.5 million people have hearing loss in the United States alone. And turns out, they’re related. Interesting studies done this past year highlight that people are twice as likely to have hearing loss if they suffer from diabetes than those who do not have this disease. These studies were performed on 20,000 people coming from U.S., Asia, Brazil and Australia. If you have diabetes, you may not think hearing loss goes hand in hand with what you have, but the two conditions are actually closely related. The American Diabetes Association says both diabetes and hearing loss are two of the highest health concerns in America.
Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss
What’s the reasoning behind the study? Well, some people say if diabetics controlled their blood sugar levels better, they could minimize the risk of hearing impairment. It could also be the medications and diuretics diabetics take to keep their blood pressure down. Nothing has been proven on that front, though. Study researchers do say that age does not readily plays a role in these links, even though age and hearing loss has been linked with each other in the general population with each. Same goes for loud noises, which have also been known to cause hearing loss, but there’s no link between the two conditions and a noisy workplace. The evidence could involve the fact that high blood glucose levels tends to damage the small blood vessels in the inner ear. This is what could cause the resulting hearing impairment.
Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss, especially dangerous while driving or operating a machine, needs to be properly diagnosed. If you can’t pick up on background noise when there’s a crowd of people, or you hear muffled sounds instead of clear words when people speak, you could suffer from diabetic-related hearing loss. Failing to stay involved in conversations with two or more people, difficulty in deciphering the voices of small children or women, and the need to have the volume all the way up on the TV or radio can all highlight signs of hearing impairment. Loss of hearing can cause embarrassment in social situations, when you have to ask others to repeat themselves constantly. Instead of avoiding parties, seek out an audiologist for diagnosis and treatment so you don’t risk your safety or that of others.
Testing for Diabetes
You may be resistant to adding one more test to your yearly checkup but ask during your routine health exam for a hearing evaluation. A referral to a trusted audiologist for additional evaluation if need be should be discussed. Hearing tests are important in fighting against the confusion between the two conditions: diabetes and hearing loss.