Diabetes Week which runs from 9th-15th July 2017, raises awareness of people with diabetes and educates those who may not know of its challenges. One issue that is often overlooked is the link between diabetes and hearing loss, so we’ve mapped out a few must-knows to help raise awareness around the ever-growing condition.
Diabetes by numbers
It’s been found that 4% of Australians currently suffer from diabetes. For people with uncontrolled type 1 or 2 diabetes, hearing loss is twice as common. That number escalates by 14% in diabetic women and extends to individuals as young as 30 years old.
What causes the connection?
It’s believed that diabetes-induced high blood sugar levels may result in damaged blood vessels in the ears, which eventually leads to hearing loss. This implies that the condition exists independently of other common causes, such as loud noises or damage to the ears.
How can you identify it?
While damaged blood vessels aren’t easily recognisable, there are a few telltale signs of hearing loss you should be aware of. Your telephone volume is a great starting point – how high do you need it cranked to hear it comfortably? The volume of your own voice is also a key indicator, as those who suffer from hearing loss often overcompensate for their own inability to hear. The most surefire way to ensure your ears are healthy, however, is to book a hearing test.
What can you do to avoid it?
Unfortunately, there’s not yet a cure for diabetes, but there are ways to proactively prevent its impact on your ears. As always, it starts with maintaining control of your sugar intake and taking prescribed medication when necessary. A healthy diet and regular exercise are also extremely important.