GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- One sign of getting older is the growing difficulty of hearing. Although we can’t stop time, there are some surprising links that might help prevent loss of hearing that have nothing to do with age!
Throughout the years of 1999 to 2004, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was performed on over 5,000 adults between the ages of 20 to 69. What was the purpose of this survey? To help discover whether or not a link existed between diabetes and hearing loss.
The results of this survey showed that people who live with diabetes are as much as two times more likely to suffer from hearing loss, and those who are pre-diabetic are more 30% more likely to have hearing loss when compared to their non diabetic partners! Researchers still don’t know precisely why this correlation exists, but several believe diabetes damages hearing nerves. Others speculate that it could be related to high blood sugar which might damage small blood vessels that support and feed the inner ear, when this happens, hearing is compromised.
So what can be done?
Although there is no magical pill that can get rid of diabetes, diet plays a large roll in being able to control blood sugar. The more control you have over your blood sugar, the less likely it will be that high blood sugar will affect your hearing. Being able to follow medication and diet treatment plans are critical to hearing protection.
Another important factor to consider here is the fact that as a person’s ability to hear decreases, the more difficult it is to live a social life. This often leads to loneliness and depression, diabetics who are both isolated and depressed may face a far greater struggle of being able to follow their treatment plans managing their blood sugar. Be sure to maintain your social life or consider joining a community club where you can continue to build and make relationships with others.
Whether or not you have hearing loss now, if you have diabetes, consider undergoing yearly hearing tests to make sure you aren’t suffering from hearing loss. Remember, the sooner you can diagnose a hearing problem, the better your odds of positive treatment plans.