Diabetes is a serious condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. Untreated or poorly managed diabetes can lead to many other health complications, including heart problems, kidney failure, nerve damage, vision problems and stroke. Diabetes can also put you at a greater risk of developing hearing loss.
Millions of people in the United States currently have diabetes or are pre-diabetic and unaware of it. It’s incredibly important if you have diabetes or are at risk for developing it to get checked out by a doctor. Make an appointment right away if you experience the following symptoms:
- Intense hunger and thirst
- Frequent urination
- Losing weight without trying
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling in extremities
- Wounds that are slow to heal
How Does Diabetes Contribute to Hearing Loss Risk?
Diabetes puts you at a higher risk for hearing loss. Uncontrolled high blood sugar can damage blood vessels in the body, including in the inner ear. This damage affects circulation to the hair cells in the ear. Lack of circulation can permanently damage the cells and contribute to permanent hearing loss.
Thankfully, just because diabetes increases your risk of hearing loss does not mean there is nothing you can do to protect your hearing. In fact, many of the same actions you take to manage your diabetes can also help you lower your risk of hearing loss. These include things like:
- Take all medications prescribed by your doctor
- Stock up on plenty of fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods at Central Market.
- Manage your blood sugar and A1C levels
- Quit smoking
- Get regular physical exercise like walking or Tai Chi classes
- Don’t skip meals and eat meals at regular times
- Avoid sugary food and drinks
- Drink plenty of water
What to Do if You Think You Have Hearing Loss
If you are concerned that you are experiencing hearing loss due to diabetes, make an appointment to get your hearing tested. The sooner your hearing is properly assessed the better the outcome in terms of treatment options.
If you do have hearing loss, your hearing specialist will probably recommend hearing aids. They will help you decide which type of hearing aids best fit your lifestyle and help with any adjustments to maximize your hearing and protect your hearing health.
To schedule a hearing test or if you have any additional questions, contact Sharp Hearing today.