Overall health and hearing health go hand in hand. However, many people don’t associate hearing loss and its related issues with diabetes.
Those living with the Diabetes understand the disease can cause health problems, such as nerve damage and issues related to vision, feet, hands, kidney function and heart health. Awareness of the risks associated with diabetes is important. Talking with a doctor or medical professional is essential for continued health related to the disease. Hearing health should be included in that awareness.
Diabetes can play a role in hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance issues, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The ADA reports there are 37 million people in the U.S. living with diabetes and an estimated 34.5 million people have some type of hearing loss. The ADA suggests many of those individuals are living with both conditions at the same time.
High blood sugar levels, directly related to diabetes, can cause nerve damage in many parts of the body, including the nerves and small blood vessels in the inner ear. Low blood sugar levels can also damage how “the nerve signals travel from the inner ear to the brain. Both types of damage can cause hearing loss,” according to the CDC.
In the U.S., hearing loss is twice as common in people diagnosed with diabetes. And hearing loss for the estimated 133 million people living with prediabetes is 30 percent higher, according to a study reported by the ADA.
Hearing loss related to diabetes and prediabetes can happen over time. The signs and symptoms of hearing loss could go more easily unnoticed if they happen gradually occur. Signs of hearing loss:
• Asking others to repeat themselves or to speak more slowly
• Listening to the TV or media devices too loud for others
• Trouble hearing higher frequencies, such as the voices of women and children
• Issues hearing in crowded spaces, like restaurants and social events
• Thinking others are mumbling
• Difficulty hearing on the phone
• Frequently unsure of what direction a sound is coming from
• Difficulty hearing sounds, like a car’s turn signal, beeping of timers, or birds chirping
• Ringing in the ears or symptoms of tinnitus
With diabetes and prediabetes linked to hearing loss, another issue or symptom should not be overlooked – tinnitus. Tinnitus is most often described as a roaring, humming, buzzing, or ringing in the ear and occurs with no external source of sound. Several issues can be factor of tinnitus, such as hypertension, stress, anemia, excessive caffeine and cigarette use, certain medications and prolonged noise exposure often related to employment or military environments. It is important to consult with a doctor if a person experiences a sudden onset of tinnitus or the symptoms of tinnitus.
Hearing loss can be devastating for an individual and their family if left untreated. Knowing the signs of hearing loss can make a difference in quality of life or managing a health condition, such as diabetes and prediabetes. A few consequences of untreated hearing loss can include:
• Social isolation and withdrawal
• Depression and anxiety
• Communication issues
• Cognitive decline, including dementia
• Decline in self-esteem
• Economic and educational disadvantage
• Balance issues
The inner ear helps to control an individual’s balance. When damage occurs, like the type associated with diabetes and prediabetes, the risk of falls and injury increases.
Regular hearing evaluations and testing can help maintain overall health and quality of life. And it is especially important for those with diabetes or prediabetes.
Miracle-Ear believes in a higher standard of hearing healthcare. Everyone should have access to quality hearing healthcare regardless of socio-economic status. That is why the unique and extensive hearing examinations and testing are always free of charge at Miracle-Ear.
If it’s determined an individual needs corrective hearing devices, Miracle-Ear offers solutions for every lifestyle and budget. Included is a lifetime of free services, like regular checks, cleanings, maintenance, and yearly testing to ensure an individual’s hearing prescription is always up to date for crystal-clear sound.
Miracle-Ear also offers advanced solutions for those suffering from tinnitus.
Hearing healthcare is not out of reach for those suffering from hearing loss, including those with diabetes or prediabetes.
Don’t put it off – call Miracle-Ear and book an appointment for a complementary hearing evaluation today.
CLICK HERE to book an appointment or call 888-246-6119.