This November, Test Your Hearing in Honor of American Diabetes Month

Hearing loss prevention

November is American Diabetes Month. Join the American Diabetes Association’s 2022 Campaign: Today’s Diabetes Hits Different! Take control of your health by learning about diabetes, how to find it, manage it, and live well with it.

You may already know a thing or two about diabetes. Maybe your doctor just told you that you’re at risk, and at least one person in your family has diabetes. When you think about diabetes, you might think about heart problems, going on a diet, or needing to exercise more. 

What you might not think about is hearing loss.

Diabetes and hearing loss are linked.

Diabetes can affect your ears and hearing, your blood sugar, your risk of heart attack and stroke, and the health of your kidneys. Diabetes makes you more likely to lose your hearing, which isn’t a link you might have thought of. A recent study at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found that women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have much worse hearing than women without diabetes.

In 2008, the National Institute of Health looked at more than 5,000 questionnaires from Americans and found that 21% of adults with diabetes also had hearing loss. This is more than twice as many as the 9% of adults who have trouble hearing but don’t have diabetes. The results can’t be argued with. If you have diabetes, you are more likely to lose your hearing.

What happens to your ears if you have diabetes?

We know that having diabetes makes you more likely to lose your hearing, but we don’t know how diabetes causes hearing loss. 

What we know is that high blood sugar levels, a big part of diabetes, hurt all of the body’s blood cells. One idea is that this damage makes it harder for the blood to move through the body and get to the ears. Without enough blood and oxygen, the delicate cells in the ear are hurt or killed. This is why people with diabetes are more likely to lose their hearing.

Signs of hearing loss 

If you or someone you care about has diabetes, it’s essential to know the signs of hearing loss and get help as soon as possible. 

One of the first things you’ll notice is that you need help following conversations and often need help understanding what’s being said. That’s because consonant sounds are complex for people with hearing loss to hear. Even if you can hear the words, it’s hard to figure out what they mean. When you ask someone to repeat themselves for the third time, you and the other person get frustrated. 

You should get your hearing checked immediately if you’ve been turning up the volume on the TV or have stopped talking on the phone. 

You might also start staying home instead of going out to dinner with friends because you can’t keep up with them in noisy restaurants. That is a clear sign of hearing loss, not of getting older.

How to keep your hearing safe

If you have diabetes, you might start to lose your hearing. Control your blood sugar levels by doing what your family doctor tells you to do. This will keep your blood cells and ears from getting worse. Eat well and move around to keep your body in good shape. This is good for your diabetes, your ears, and your health and happiness in general. 

Lastly, you and your family over 60 must get hearing tests yearly and get treatment for hearing loss as soon as it shows up. This will keep you from losing your hearing in a way that can’t be fixed and let you keep enjoying all the sounds around you for years to come.

How to Treat Hearing Loss

If you have diabetes and have trouble hearing, it’s time to make a change! You are close to being able to hear well. 

We work with the best hearing aid companies worldwide to give you the best hearing health. We have all kinds of hearing aids, from sleek ones that go behind the ear to ones that go in the ear canal and are almost impossible to see. With directional microphones, speech enhancement, and noise reduction, your new hearing aid will help you understand what people are saying, improve your relationships, and enjoy your favorite activities.

Call us today to schedule a hearing test or to talk to an audiologist about your hearing health.