June 17, 2023
Diabetes is one of the most common health conditions across the globe. Half a billion people worldwide have this disease. The primary type is late-onset Type II “diabetes mellitus.” This metabolic disease affects the body’s ability to process sugar by way of insulin. There is significant overlap with hearing loss, particularly as aging is a risk factor for both.
Diabetes affects at least 37 million adults in the US and is the eighth leading cause of death for Americans. This condition has become more common in recent years, unfortunately. A patient with diabetes essentially cannot produce enough insulin to properly break down glucose (blood sugar). This situation is chronic; it does not just disappear. It is a lifelong challenge to manage one’s diet and behaviors. Having too much glucose (blood sugar) in your system can cause several problems.
Some of the consequences of diabetes include kidney failure, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Each of those conditions brings serious health risks. Vision can also be affected. Neuropathy can result from nerve damage. Tissue damage in the body can be widespread.
Hearing loss has also been found to be at significantly greater risk in diabetics compared to people with normal glucose levels. This may be due to nerve damage, blood vessel damage, or blood chemistry. Whatever the mechanism may be, diabetic individuals have greater incidence of hearing loss than non-diabetics. The connection to hearing loss is being studied intensively.
Other well-known risk factors for hearing loss include aging, excessive noise exposure, family history, smoking, medications, ear infections, and auto-immune diseases. Of these, several are under your control with the choices you make. Diabetes can be managed with your primary doctor’s involvement. Be aware of the cascading effects certain health conditions can cause in your body. Stay fit. Stay healthy.
Clear Choice Hearing and Balance is located in Greece and Brighton, and we invite you to give us a call at 585-723-3440, or send an email through our contact form to learn more. As always, we wish to keep you on a clear path to good hearing and ear health.
Sources: Centers For Disease Control, American Diabetes Association, The Hearing Review