By The Jackson Hearing Center
American Diabetes Alert Day is March 25th, it’s a well known fact that diabetes can affect vision. For that reason, most physicians who treat people with diabetes recommend their patients have regular eye examinations. It’s a lesser known fact, however, that diabetes can be a contributing factor to hearing loss. As is your vision, hearing is a precious and complex sense. Therefore, if you are diabetic, it is important to have regular hearing evaluations.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) found that hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes as it is in those who do not have the disease. Also, of the 79 million adults thought to have pre-diabetes, the rate of hearing loss was 30% higher than in those with normal blood sugar. With diabetes, it is thought that the high blood glucose levels that damage small blood vessels in the other parts of the body also damage those of the inner ear. Hearing and understanding conversational speech can become more difficult when this happens.
Common Signs of Hearing Loss
Often times, hearing loss occurs so gradually that many people do not realize they have a problem. At the early onset of hearing loss, friends or family members may be the first ones to notice. Commons signs of hearing loss include:
- 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 near
Early Diagnosis is Key
Hearing loss is specific to each individual and early detection for those with diabetes cannot prevent or stop the deterioration. However, early intervention, specifically with amplification with hearing aids, can improve an individual’s productivity and quality of life. Having a hearing evaluation, getting diagnosed, and finding the right hearing aid is an attempt to restore a sense that is multifaceted and has more to do with your entire physical health than previously thought.
For more information or to schedule an appointment for a Free Hearing Screening, contact The Jackson Hearing Center at 731-660-5511 or visit us online at www.hearingmemphis.com.