For those living with Diabetes, you are in the habit of constantly having routine health exams for your kidneys, eyes, all the way down to your feet. However recent studies show that it is a good idea to have your hearing checked, too.
According to the American Diabetes Association:
- Seven million diabetic individuals do not know they have the disease.
- Diabetic women are more susceptible to developing hearing loss than their male counterparts
A recent study, performed by researchers at National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggests that diabetics are susceptible not only to vision problems, but to hearing problems as well. The research found that patients with diabetes are more than twice as likely to suffer hearing loss than non-diabetics. In fact, more than 40% of the patients who participated in the study had some hearing damage.
What Can I Do?
People with diabetes should ask their audiologist to check their hearing. Those who are non-diabetic should check their hearing, as well. A routine hearing check can be a key component in identifying diabetic patients with potential hearing loss. Studies conducted by Better Hearing Institute (BHI), a non-profit education organization whose mission is to educate the public about hearing loss treatment and prevention, show that people with untreated hearing loss experience a lower quality of life than people with normal hearing or people who use hearing aids.
“Doctors usually focus on the bigger picture: blood sugar control, diet and weight control. But your hearing is just as important.”
~Dr. Mary Sue Harrison, Au.D
How Can I Tell If I’m Losing My Hearing?
The old saying never fails- “Better to be safe than sorry.” Try to be more aware of any changes in your hearing and be mindful of any symptoms of hearing loss.
According to the American Diabetes Association, some common signs of impaired hearing include:
- frequently having to ask other people to repeat themselves
- feeling that others are mumbling
- cranking the TV or radio volume to levels that are too loud for the people around you.
Almost 26 million people in the United States have diabetes. While more than 34 million Americans have some type of hearing loss, and that number is rising as the baby boom generation ages. Ask your audiologist for a full hearing exam or try out a fast minute-screening for those “on-the-go.”