Hearing loss is a common issue nowadays, especially if you are in your late 40s. But situations are aggravated if you are a patient of diabetes. Because recent studies have found a good association of diabetes with the development of various hearing problems. According to a study made by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in June 2008, and which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a strong and persistent association of impaired hearing with diabetes has been found.
Incidence and Prevalence
The most common problems that come along with diabetes is hearing loss. Diabetes and hearing loss are the two most widespread health concerns in America. About 30 million US inhabitants are suffering from diabetes, and about 34.5 million people is suffering from some type of hearing impairment. Therefore, you must be concerned, and an early treatment of hearing loss becomes extremely necessary.
According to a study made in 2008, using the results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a higher prevalence of about 21% of hearing damage is found among the diabetic patients, and about 9% is found among the non-diabetic patients. Also, it is analysed that this relation between diabetes and hearing loss has been the strongest in the younger survey participants who are less than 60 years of age.
How is Hearing Loss Related to Diabetes
As we all know that due to diabetes, there is a rise in the blood sugar levels. This damages the small blood vessels in the inner ear, thereby causing a deficit in oxygen supply. Due to a lack of oxygen, the hair cells are damaged, thus failing to transmit the sound signals received by them from the middle ear to the auditory nerve. In such a case, you must not delay in getting a proper treatment of hearing loss.
How would I know whether I have Hearing Loss?
If you notice the following 5 signs, then you are probably having some type of hearing impairment, and your ears need immediate attention!
You ask people to repeat themselves quite often, and almost regularly.
Do you face difficulties talking over the phone, and hence started avoiding them frequently?
Having difficulty in participating in one-to-one conversations.
Frequently raising up the TV/Radio volume more the the usual one.
Often thinking that others are mumbling.
Facing problems hearing in a noisy area such as at a busy restaurant.
All these are the ‘red flags’ which indicate that your hearing health is calling for help and you need to opt for a good treatment of hearing loss soon by consulting a certified Audiologist!
Can I Prevent Diabetic Hearing Loss?
The good news is that you can very well prevent hearing loss caused due to diabetes. The trick is to follow a healthy and balanced diet, and of course having a control over it! All you need to keep in mind that you have to control your blood sugar levels. Then it will be much easier for you to have a control over the diabetic-related problems and might be successful in preventing hearing loss as a result.
Which is an Effective Treatment of Hearing Loss?
If you are already suffering from hearing problems, then, as already mentioned, consult and discuss with a highly qualified Audiologist immediately. Get a proper hearing check-up and follow as suggested by your Audiologist. Hearing aid has proved to be quite an effective treatment of hearing loss till date. In cases of severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss, when hearing aids normally fail to give much benefits, cochlear implants have been opted for by Audiologists worldwide and these devices have proved to give excellent results! So why worry when there are so many innovative and advanced options out there?!
In a nutshell, never be depressed for being a diabetic patient, because there are thousands of solutions to preventing and controlling diabetic hearing loss.