There are a number of other factors which can cause loss of hearing, including illness and physical trauma. Some researchers believe the presence of diabetes could contribute to hearing loss or deafness.
In fact, hearing loss is about twice as common in people with diabetes compared to those who do not have the disease, according to a study by the PubMed. Management of this disease is crucial. When blood sugar levels aren’t well-controlled, your risk of developing hearing loss may increase.
How is diabetes a risk factor for hearing loss?
What causes diabetes to be a risk factor to hearing loss isn’t clear.
It’s known that high blood sugar can damage blood vessels throughout the body, including your ears. If you’ve had diabetes for a long time and it isn’t well-controlled, there could be damage to the vast network of small blood vessels in your ears.
Another complication of diabetes is nerve damage, which is a common complication of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It’s possible that damage to the auditory nerves could lead to hearing loss.
As a person with high blood sugar, what can you do to protect your hearing?
If you have diabetes, you should have your hearing checked each year.
The best way to avoid hearing loss and other complications is to:
- Follow your medication plan.
- Closely monitor your blood sugar levels.
- Reduce hypertension.
- Manage your weight.
- Exercise daily if you can.
Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can happen gradually, with symptoms of impairment often hard to notice. Among the signs are:
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
- Trouble following conversations that involve more than two people
- Thinking that others are mumbling
- Problems hearing in noisy places such as busy restaurants
- Trouble hearing the voices of women and small children
- Turning up the TV or radio volume too loud for others who are nearby
How is hearing loss treated?
Hearing aids are the most common treatment option for hearing loss, and you’ll find many on the market to choose from. A hearing professional can help you select the best option for your lifestyle needs.
Other treatments for hearing loss depend on the cause and may include:
- medication, such as antibiotics for acute infection
- removal of earwax or another blockage
- cochlear implants, depending on the status of the nerves in your ear
Surgery may be necessary if your hearing loss is due to:
- a birth defect
- head trauma
- chronic middle ear fluid
- chronic ear infections
It’s a good idea to share information with your doctor if you have diabetes and are experiencing hearing loss. That way, your doctor will have a better picture of your overall health.
See a professional as soon as possible
Whether or not you think you have hearing loss, it’s advised that if you have diabetes, you should get a baseline measurement of your hearing as soon as possible. If you have symptoms of hearing loss, it is even more important for you to get your hearing checked. The sooner we can treat the hearing loss, the less impact it can have on your overall health.
If you suspect you or your loved ones have a hearing loss, book a Comprehensive Hearing Test at World of Hearing today. Call 1300 060 455 to speak to our trained and qualified Audiologist Karen Cooper and come in and visit us in Toowong, Brisbane.