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In regards to diabetes and hearing loss, the connection is undeniable. But what the cause and effect relationship is exactly, this is not known. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes and hearing loss are the top two widespread health concerns in this country, with 30 million people suffering from diabetes and 34.5 million individuals suffering from hearing problems. Recent studies have shown that you are twice as likely to have hearing loss if you have diabetes than other people without the disease. These studies took information from 20,000 people from various places around the Earth, including the U.S., Asia, Brazil and Australia.

Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

Hearing loss occur in diabetics just like they can suffer from problems with the eyes, kidneys and feet. But to learn more about the connection between the two conditions, more research must be undertaken. Old age and a noisy working environment, according to researchers – well known to cause hearing loss – don’t seem to play into the scenario of diabetes and hearing problems. Although one solution to containing this correlation is to do a better job of controlling blood sugar levels in diabetics so hearing impairment doesn’t happen, not enough is known about the causes yet for this to be a an office suggestion. Because diabetics ingest many medications and diuretics related to lowering their blood pressure, no one knows if this could actually be causing the hearing loss. While the link between diabetes and hearing loss is not in question, the exact reason why is still unknown. The high blood glucose levels that are associated with diabetes can harm your inner ear’s sensitive blood vessels. This is one of the factors being explored but conclusive evidence is still yet to come.

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

If it’s hard for you to 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 have hearing loss as it relates to diabetes. There are many signs of hearing loss you should be privy to. The inability to keep track of conversations involving multiple participants, failure to pick up on the voices of small children or women, and the need to put the TV or radio on full volume just to hear it well are all signs of hearing impairment. This can be pretty embarrassing, sometimes causing you to avoid parties and other social gatherings. Don’t let this happen to you: seek out an audiologist for diagnosis and treatment so you don’t risk your safety or that of others. This is particularly perilous while driving.

Testing for Diabetes

Are you a diabetic? Have your hearing tested to help researchers determine what the exact correlation is between the two conditions. Ask for a referral to an audiologist for further testing when you’re at the doctor for a checkup. This is so the two conditions and their connection, if any, can be further explored. While diabetes is linked to several health problems, such as heart disease and vision loss, many doctors still neglect to test the hearing of diabetic. Hopefully, that will change.

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