Understanding Diabetes-Related Hearing Loss
Diabetes, especially type 2, has continuously increased in South Africa throughout the years, with an estimated 4.6 million people recorded living with the illness in 2021. With World Diabetes Day on the 14th of November, as audiologists, it’s imperative to help you understand that diabetes can have a significant impact on your hearing. In this blog, we’ll explore the connection between diabetes and hearing loss, providing tips on how to reduce your risk.
The Link Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss
The direct link between diabetes and hearing loss may not be as widely recognised as other diabetes-related conditions, but it’s an important one nonetheless.
For instance, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing impairment than those without the condition.
How Does Diabetes Affect Hearing?
Researchers believe that high blood sugar, which is characteristic of diabetes, can damage the blood vessels and nerves in the inner ear, disrupting the delicate hearing balance in your ears. This type of damage generally results in hearing issues and potentially hearing loss over time.
Therefore, individuals with diabetes should be aware of this and take action to regulate their blood sugar levels to safeguard their hearing.
The Importance of Early Detection
Hearing loss can occur because of many different reasons. You might already be aware that it can happen as you get older.
Statistically speaking, 70% of diabetics aged 50-69 are at a higher risk of developing hearing loss
Besides age, the best way to avoid diabetic-related hearing loss is early detection and regular testing. Booking a Smart Technology Comprehensive Hearing Test at your nearest Hearing Works store is essential, as this can help identify the condition in its early stages. Yes, diabetes can be kept in check.
Here are a few simple and manageable lifestyle tips you can take that can make a difference: