November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and during this time, it’s important to focus on the link between diabetes and hearing loss.
To learn more, watch my video Diabetes and hearing loss
A recent study found that hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes as it is in those who don’t have the disease. Also, of the 84 million adults in the U.S. who have prediabetes, the rate of hearing loss is 30 percent higher than in those with normal blood glucose.
Right now we don’t know how diabetes is related to hearing loss. It’s possible that the high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes cause damage to the small blood vessels in the inner ear, in much the same way in which diabetes can damage the eyes and the kidneys. But more research needs to be done to discover why people with diabetes have a higher rate of hearing loss.
In the meantime, if you or a loved one has diabetes, be on the lookout for telltale signs of hearing loss such as:
• 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 nearby.
If you notice any of these signs, seek out an audiologist immediately for a hearing exam. Or, call us at 630.752.9505.