Diabetes & Your Ears

May 30, 2017 |

A National Epidemic

Diabetes has seen a significant amount of attention on a national scale.  With the increase of Type II diabetes and growing obesity rates, hardly a day goes by that diabetes is not at the forefront of healthcare news.  The statistics are staggering and alarming.  Diabetes is the cause of 300,000 deaths each year and if current rates continue more than a third of the US population may have type II diabetes by the year 2050.  It is estimated that currently 29 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes, a disease that presents with a myriad of problems, one of which can be hearing loss.

The connection between diabetes and hearing loss:

Did you know…

  • 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss
  • Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes
  • Hearing loss attributed to age as well as diabetes tends to cause high frequency hearing loss, making it more difficult to hear in the presence of background noise
  • People that have prediabetes have a 30% high risk for hearing loss than people with normal blood sugar levels.
  • People with diabetes have a higher risk for noise induced hearing loss

Action Plan:

As research continues to explore the link between diabetes and hearing loss, top experts encourage people with diabetes to incorporate an annual hearing evaluation into their long term treatment plan.  Hearing loss in association with diabetes may affect one or both ears and could appear gradually or suddenly.  Balance problems or vertigo may also occur.  Regular hearing checks can help to identify and treat problems early and in turn increase overall wellness and quality of life.

Consider prevention of further hearing loss: wear hearing protection!  There are a multitude of comfortable forms of hearing protection devices (HPDs).  Available in custom or universal fit, foam or silicone, making hearing protection a habit is crucial for keeping your ears in good condition.

Talk to your primary care physician about your hearing health.  Call our office at 616-994-2770 to schedule a hearing evaluation with one of our audiologists.


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