Hearing loss and diabetes: chronic high blood sugar can also damage hearing

Because hearing loss and diabetes are associated with their chronically high blood sugar levels, people with diabetes should have regular hearing exams. Hearing loss often causes people to withdraw and become less active in their social lives, thus becoming more physically inactive. In turn, this can lead to obesity, which is a trigger for diabetes. If a hearing is already impaired, hearing aids or hearing aids will help you break out of the vicious cycle of withdrawal and inactivity.

Hearing loss and diabetes
Hearing loss and diabetes

All about diabetes.

There are two main types of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is characterized by the inability to produce insulin. If you have type 1 diabetes, then your body does not make insulin at all. Without insulin, glucose cannot enter your cells from the bloodstream.

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insufficient production of insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body will produce some insulin. However, your body does not produce enough insulin, so your blood sugar levels remain high and your cells do not get the glucose they need.

Diabetes and hearing loss.

Diabetes is a disease in which the autoimmune system attacks the insulin produced in the pancreas. The hormone insulin is responsible for transporting sugar from food to the body cells of the muscles and cells of the adipose tissue. In the absence of insulin, blood sugar levels increase and affect the perception of volume, so that the impression of a single volume changes in a short period of time at a constant environmental volume. This is technically described as hearing fluctuations. Elevated blood glucose levels can also damage the nerves and blood vessels in the inner ear, which can exacerbate hearing loss.

Type 1 diabetes and hearing loss.

We performed a systematic review or meta-analysis of the relationship between type 1 diabetes and hearing loss in a sample of 60 subjects with type 1 diabetes compared to an adapted control group of 30 subjects.

In this sample, hearing thresholds were significantly higher in the diabetic group than in the control group and were higher at all frequencies (250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000 and 8000 Hz). In addition, hearing loss was more common in patients with high plasma glucose concentrations. In the presence of normal hearing, auditory evoked brainstem potentials were delayed in all eight ears of the diabetic group.

In 2009, 60 non-oily diabetic patients (type 9 type 1/71 type 2) were compared with 60 subjects in an adapted control group. The risk of hearing impairment was 3.5 times higher in the diabetic group than in the control group. The higher prevalence of hearing loss was essentially the same as the prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes and hearing loss.

In 2006, a systematic review and meta-analysis of the relationship between type 2 diabetes and hearing loss were conducted.

They concluded that patients with type 2 diabetes were at significantly higher risk of developing at least mild hearing loss.

The risk of hearing impairment was 1.91 times higher in type 2 diabetics than in controls (non-diabetics). The hearing was poorer in the diabetic group at all frequencies, but most pronounced at 6000 and 8000 Hz, in addition to significantly delayed auditory evoked brainstem potentials in the diabetic group.

Protect your hearing.

There are relatively simple steps you can take to prevent hearing loss and protect your ears

  • Avoid excessive volume in your daily life whenever possible.
  • When listening to music on your smartphone or MP3 player, set the appropriate volume.
  • Turn down the volume on your TV and car radio to prevent hearing loss.
  • Wear earplugs whenever you’re in the presence of loud sounds (such as a rock concert or sporting event).
  • Exercise regularly to promote healthy blood circulation throughout your body and ears.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to take care of your cardiovascular health.
  • When purchasing a drill, lawnmower, etc., choose a low-noise device.
  • Schedule regular hearing tests so you can monitor your hearing health and notice early warning signs of hearing loss.

Hearing loss is treatable.

If you have diabetes, it is important to have regular hearing checks. Diabetes can increase your risk of hearing loss and may also accelerate it. Make hearing tests a priority every year. Think of a hearing test as an annual vision test. Your vision is tested annually to ensure clarity and visibility. Likewise, make sure you have your hearing tested every year to ensure clear hearing.

If there is already a hearing impairment, there are several ways to compensate: usually, hearing aids are fitted to compensate for the loss. But sometimes this is not enough, because the hearing loss is already very severe.

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