A Hearing Test Should be Part of Your Diabetes Care Checklist

Last update on Nov, 05, 2019

You’ve likely heard that diabetes is tied to hearing loss, which is why regular hearing screenings should be included in your diabetes care checklist.

Here is a checklist of the essentials when managing diabetes:

Manage your weight

Managing your weight is the key for keeping your type 2 diabetes under control. Though it can seem overwhelming and challenging, losing 10 or 15 pounds can make a big difference.

Eat healthy

It is incredibly important to have a balanced meal plan when managing diabetes. That doesn’t mean you have to completely give up your favorite foods but make it a goal to find a balance that works for you. Not sure where to start? Use the MyPlate guide.  

Exercise

Making sure you move for at least one hour a day is one of the best ways to make sure you are staying in shape. Whether it’s taking your dog for a walk, dancing around your house, or playing tag you’re your kids, exercising is an essential element of a healthy lifestyle. Here are some easy gym-free workouts.

Get your hearing checked

People who have diabetes may be at a higher risk for hearing loss. According to the National Institutes of Health, hearing loss is twice as common in adults with diabetes compared to adults who don't have diabetes. Adults with pre-diabetes have a 30% higher rate of hearing loss compared to those with normal blood sugar (glucose). If you or someone you know has diabetes, it's also important to get a hearing screening every year.

How are diabetes and hearing loss related?

The connection is not entirely clear, but we do know that diabetes is a condition where the body doesn't properly process food to use as energy. Most food is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas makes a hormone called insulin that helps glucose get into our cells. When you have diabetes, your body doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should, and this causes sugars to build up in the blood.

Chronic high blood sugar takes its toll on the small blood vessels throughout your body, including your ears, which can result in nerve damage. “The cochlea (inner ear) is very small, and the effects of diabetes can have a big impact on hearing nerves,” says Amplifon hearing Health Care’s Director of Clinical Programs, Carrie Meyer, Au.D. “Low blood flow and higher cholesterol levels common with diabetes have potential to cause damage.”

If you are diabetic, get your hearing tested annually to address any changes early. Also be on the lookout for symptoms of diabetic nerve damage, including: pain and numbness, commonly felt in legs and feet. If the nerves in your ears get damaged, you’ll most likely experience signs of hearing loss. 

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Get in touch with Amplifon today

If you suspect you or a loved one may have hearing loss, Amplifon Hearing Health Care can help! Call today and our Patient Care Advocates will help you find a provider near your and schedule an appointment.

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