hearing loss affects diabetes sufferers by Diabetes Insight, Cork, Ireland

A study just released from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, in America shows that women who have diabetes are at greater risk of hearing loss as they get older, especially when their diabetes is not well controlled.

Commonly known complications of diabetes are heart disease, neuropathy and retinopathy. But not many people are aware that dental problems as well as hearing loss can be associated with poorly controlled diabetes.  According to the American Diabetes Association people with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from hearing loss than those that don’t have diabetes and those that suffer with Pre-Diabetes can suffer up to a 30% hearing loss.

Hearing depends on small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ear. Over time, in people with diabetes, high blood glucose levels can damage these vessels and nerves, leading to hearing loss.

The study looked at women between the age of 65-70 years of age and discovered that women whose diabetes was well controlled, had similar hearing to women who had no diabetes in the same age group. It also discovered that women of a younger age group with diabetes were just as likely to suffer from hearing loss as their older counterparts when poorly controlled.

Men came out poorly in the study, suffering the most with hearing loss and diabetes, regardless of age.

Your doctor may not always include a hearing test in your diabetes physical examination, so it is important to know the signs of hearing loss.

Common signs of hearing loss include:

•Frequently asking others to repeat themselves

•Trouble following conversations that involve more than two people

•Thinking that others are mumbling

•Problems hearing in noisy places such as busy restaurants

•Trouble hearing the voices of women and small children

•Turning up the TV or radio volume too loud for others who are nearby

If you suspect you have hearing loss, please talk to your diabetes team, so they can refer you to an audiologist for a hearing test. At Diabetes Insight we can refer you to an audiologist by contacting Helena directly on (086) 1739287 &/or email: hfarrell77@gmail.com

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