Diabetes and hearing loss are among the most common health conditions to affect U.S. seniors, and according to recent research, it appears that the two conditions may be related.
According to the National Institutes of Health, hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes as it is in people without diabetes. Individuals diagnosed with prediabetes have also shown significantly elevated rates of hearing loss.
Below are frequently asked questions about diabetes and hearing loss that we commonly get asked from our patients.
How Are Diabetes and Hearing Loss Related?
Over time, high glucose levels in the blood associated with diabetes can damage small blood vessels and nerves. The sensory mechanisms of the ear depend on such structures to translate sound waves into nerve impulses that our brains can understand. Exactly how this damage progresses in the structures of the ear has not yet been studied in depth.
What Should I Do About My Hearing if I Have Diabetes?
Again, the most important thing is to have a complete hearing exam to understand how you are hearing right now. A baseline audiogram will not only identify any current hearing loss you may be experiencing, it will be invaluable in assessing changes in your hearing going forward.
How Can Diabetes-Related Hearing Loss Be Treated?
Fortunately, the type of hearing loss experienced by people with diabetes appears to be similar to other common types of hearing loss — such as that caused by excess noise exposure. Amplification through hearing aids is effective at raising sound levels to more audible levels and improving speech comprehension.
If your patient has diabetes and has not had their hearing checked, we strongly recommend having a baseline hearing exam as soon as possible so that we can detect changes in their hearing as we monitor their health going forward.
Audiology & Hearing Aids of the Palm Beaches is here to help your patients. If your patient is experiencing any difficulty hearing, Dr. Dana Luzon, Au.D. would be delighted to evaluate their hearing. Dr. Luzon is committed to patient satisfaction, continuing education, and keeping up to date with the latest in hearing technology. This commitment has earned her a respected position in the audiology community. Audiology & Hearing Aids of the Palm Beaches is the only AudigyCertified practice in the Palm Beaches area – an exclusive endorsement awarded only to the nation’s top hearing care providers. Please remember to ask your patients if they are experiencing any difficulty hearing. Your referrals are appreciated.