Diabetes is an illness that occurs when your blood sugar is too high. If not managed, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to cardiovascular problems, kidney failure, nerve damage, amputation and can even be fatal.
There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes (which occurs when pregnant).
Common symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, increased thirst and/or hunger, sleepiness, weight loss, blurred vision, difficulty in concentrating and slow healing of infection. If you experience any of these symptoms, we recommend you see a doctor immediately. The sooner a diagnosis is made the better the prognosis.
How Diabetes Can Increase Your Hearing Loss Risk
Having diabetes puts you at a greater risk for hearing loss. Research has shown that people with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss as those without. An additional study showed that diabetes increased a person’s risk of developing hearing loss, regardless of age.
Uncontrolled high blood sugar can damage blood vessels, including in the inner ear. This damage affects circulation to the hair cells in the ear, which play a crucial role in the hearing process. Lack of circulation can damage the cells and cause hearing loss. Once this damage has occurred it cannot be reversed.
Manage Diabetes for Hearing Health
Managing your blood sugar levels maintains healthy circulation. This protects the hair cells in the ear and helps prevent hearing loss. Some tips for managing diabetes include:
- Take all medication as prescribed by your doctor
- Get regular physical activity. Take walks through your neighborhood or sign up for a class at Raga Yoga. Anything you enjoy that gets the blood flowing will help manage your diabetes and protect your hearing.
- Stock up on fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods.
- Monitor your blood sugar levels.
- Don’t skip meals.
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks.
- Drink lots of water.
- Manage your A1C levels and get regular testing.
- Quit smoking.
What to do if You’re Concerned About Hearing Loss
Schedule a hearing test. Hearing loss is gradual and often it can take years before people realize they have a problem. If any hearing loss has occurred, treating it early will lead to better outcomes and help prevent additional problems.
Take control of your hearing health and call Valley Audiology today to schedule an appointment.