Your hearing health involves more than just the auditory system. Being advocates for whole person care, we want you to hear the facts about how hearing loss relates to common medical conditions.
Did you know people with diabetes are about twice as likely to experience hearing loss as those without? Preventing or controlling diabetes may reduce the risks of struggling to enjoy life’s soundtrack.
In the U.S., approximately 37.3 million people have diabetes, with one in five unaware they have it and number with prediabetes almost tripling since 2005. Remarkably, almost 25% of national health care costs is spent on chronic diabetes treatment, making it our country’s most expensive medical condition to care for.
How does hearing loss relate to diabetes?
According to well-respected research:
➤ It was reported that poorly controlled diabetics have significant hearing loss in high frequencies as compared with well controlled diabetes. 1
➤ Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) was more common in patients with diabetes than in the control nondiabetic patients, and severity of hearing loss seemed to correlate with progression of disease as reflected in serum creatinine. 2
➤ This study also showed that in patients with diabetes and SNHL, worsening creatinine levels—and therefore worsening microvascular disease—led to worse hearing.3
The American Diabetes Association says, “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 small blood vessels in the inner ear, similar to the way in which diabetes can damage the eyes and kidneys.” 4
Do you have diabetes or a family history that may increase your risk of diabetes-related hearing loss? With the daily challenges of having diabetes or caring for loved ones who do, effective communication is vital.
To reduce risks and really improve your quality of life, see us for periodic evaluations to monitor your type and degree of hearing loss. In close coordination with your other healthcare providers, we will suggest healthy options to reduce the risk of inner ear damage, optimize hearing acuity and help you to be Happy to Hear.
2 Laryngoscope 115: September 2005, Weng et al.: Diabetic Patients with Sudden Deafness
3 Otology & Neurotology, Vol. 24, No. 3, 2003, Kakarlapudi et al.: The Effect of Diabetes on Sensorineural Hearing Loss