The connection is clear when it comes to the link between two conditions: diabetes and hearing loss. The answer as to why this is occurring isn’t as clear. Were you aware that diabetes and hearing loss are the top two health concerns in this country? That’s what the American Diabetes Association says, with 30 million people suffering from diabetes and 34.5 million individuals suffering from some degree of hearing loss. As a diabetic, you are twice as likely to have hearing loss if you have diabetes than others without the disease. The correlation was found thanks to a series of studies taking into account 20,000 people from the U.S., Asia, Brazil and Australia.

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Take the time to educate yourself with the signs and symptoms of hearing loss, which can include difficulty following conversations involving multiple people, trouble with perceiving others’ conversations and only hearing mumbling, problems deciphering between the voices of small children or women, and the need to put up the volume on the TV or radio. Along with that, you may struggle in distinguishing words against background noise or a loud crowd of people, feeling the need to ask others to repeat themselves and hearing just a muffling of sounds on a daily basis. Failure to see an audiologist could lead to your withdrawal from social situations due to embarrassment. You should take caution when driving or watching young children too, because you may not be able to hear impending dangerous situations. You probably won’t even know you have a problem until a spouse or close friend mentions their concerns, so take their advice and get checked.

Testing for Diabetes

Headed for your next routine health exam? Be sure to ask for a hearing test. If you’re found to have a degree of hearing loss, obtain a referral to an audiologist to undergo additional evaluation and possible treatment. As someone with diabetes, you probably undergo many tests at your doctor visits — fitting just one more in can seem like a hassle. It could help you interpret others and read situations better, so do all you can to get a conclusive diagnosis. Your doctor can better understand how your diabetic condition relates to your hearing loss.

Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

The medications and diuretics diabetics take to keep their blood pressure low could actually bring on hearing loss, so that’s one factor researchers must delve into to explain the correlation. Or, the prevalence could point to the high blood glucose levels that are part of having diabetes, as those high levels can damage the small blood vessels in the inner ear, causing hearing impairment. Researchers are pretty confident that age does not plays a role in these links, even though age and hearing loss has been linked in the general population. Same with loud noises, which have also been known to cause hearing loss. These studies, though, don’t find a link between the two conditions and a noisy workplace. These telling studies have indeed drawn a link between diabetes and hearing loss, but the reason why diabetes causes hearing loss or vice versa is not clear. There are a few theories that have to be tested, such as the suggestion that hearing loss could be curbed if diabetics controlled their blood sugar levels better to cut down on the risk of hearing impairment. That said, this is not proven yet.