A Link between Hearing Loss & Diabetes

A Link between Hearing Loss & Diabetes

If you’re one of the 30 million Americans with diabetes, you should be aware that your hearing needs to be carefully monitored. According to research, people with diabetes are more than twice as likely as non-diabetics to experience hearing loss. As a result, it’s critical to keep a close eye on your hearing. Get regular hearing tests at Worth Hearing to ensure you don’t have any hearing problems caused by your diabetes.

Diabetes: An Overview

Diabetes impairs the body’s ability to create and control insulin appropriately. This results in a build-up of glucose in the bloodstream when it should be used as fuel for bodily cells. 

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes is rising, with a 50 percent increase in the last decade. Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes are the three kinds of diabetes. Both cause glucose problems, although gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. There is an increase in blood sugar levels in all three types, which must be maintained. Diabetic retinopathy, renal failure, amputations, heart failure, and stroke are the most common complications of diabetes. Some of the symptoms are frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger, exhaustion, impaired vision, concentration problems, and infection-related healing problems.

Diabetes and Hearing Loss

In recent years, two studies have looked into the link between diabetes and hearing loss.

The National Institutes of Health put out a study in 2008. Participants with diabetes were more than twice as likely as those without the disease to have mild to moderate hearing loss. People with diabetes had a 54 percent chance of developing high-frequency hearing loss, while non-diabetics had a 32 percent chance.

The findings of the 2008 study were validated by a 2019 study published in the Diabetologia journal. Researchers gathered information from 139,909 women with and without type 2 diabetes who completed questionnaires. Between 2009 and 2013, participants were polled twice and self-reported moderate or severe hearing loss. They discovered that women with type 2 diabetes had a greater chance of moderate or severe hearing loss than those with diabetes.

What is the cause of hearing loss?

Diabetes affects hearing, according to scientists, since high glucose levels damage the microscopic blood vessels in the inner ear.

Like all other body components, the hair cells in the inner ear need proper circulation to keep healthy. These small cells play a crucial role in converting the sounds we hear into electrical impulses. The impulses are subsequently transmitted to the brain via the auditory nerve, which is recognized as a sound. If the hair cells, or stereocilia, are damaged or killed, they do not renew or grow again. 

Hearing is permanently harmed once they are lost or damaged. However, hearing devices such as hearing aids can be used to treat the ensuing sensorineural hearing loss.

Take precautions if you have diabetes

If you have diabetes, you should take care to safeguard your remaining hearing, even if hearing loss due to cell damage or loss is irreversible (though treatable).

  • Turn it down. Turn the volume down on your electronic gadgets, television, and auto radio. Excessive noise is defined as anything exceeding 85 dB, and phone apps may provide you with a noise decibel level. Snowblowers, lawnmowers, power drills, motorbikes, chainsaws, and construction equipment, for example, all produce noise that exceeds 85 dB. Use noise-canceling headphones or disposable earplugs to protect your ears from excessive noise. 
  • Make exercise a regular part of your day. Yes, you should exercise. A quick stroll will boost your overall circulation, including blood flow to your ears. If you have any concerns about the correct type of exercise for you, talk to your doctor.
  • Keep an eye on your weight. It’s tough for your heart to pump blood effectively and efficiently to all regions of your body, including your ears, if you’re overweight.

Time for a hearing test

It’s critical that you maintain a close eye on your hearing, especially if you have diabetes. Fortunately, we offer comprehensive hearing health services and we’re here to help! Call today to schedule a hearing test with our team.