Recent studies have indicated that there may be a link between diabetes and hearing loss, particularly for elderly patients. While hearing loss isn’t necessarily a side effect for all individuals with diabetes, it is one to watch for in order to help patients address the issue early on.
Signs of Hearing Loss
If you are a caregiver for an individual with or at risk for diabetes, or if you have a loved one who has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, here are a few of the key things to watch for:
- Frustration or misunderstandings during conversations
- Difficulty hearing low sounds, such as whispers or quieter televisions
- Avoiding social situations more than usual
If you have or are at risk for diabetes, you should also pay attention to any changes in your hearing abilities and talk with your doctor about any concerns.
Prevention of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss occurs for most individuals to some degree as they age. But because of the increased risk associated with diabetes, there are some specific things diabetics can do to help reduce that risk.
- Manage diabetes: Of course, it’s crucial to control blood sugar for overall health, but for hearing it’s the most important thing you can do.
- Quit smoking: Again, this is a key step for diabetics (and anyone else), but it’s also key to maintaining good hearing when you have diabetes.
- Protect your ears: Loud noises wreak havoc on your ears, and sustained loud sounds can cause lasting harm. Avoid noisy environments whenever possible.
Though hearing loss is a possible complication due to diabetes, you can take steps to mitigate the long-term effects. There are also great options available if you do experience hearing loss and Southwest Idaho Ear Nose and Throat can tell you more. Contact us at (208) 367-3320 today!