If you’re a diabetic, you have a 30% chance of developing hearing loss.
Hearing loss is common as we age but as a diabetic, it is even more crucial that you take great care of yourself and your sugars.
This is why, if you get sick with a common cold, flu, or COVID, you MUST have a quick recovery.
The longer your sugars are elevated due to an infection, the higher your risk of damaging those nerves behind your eardrums.
Be sure to pick up a copy of my Quick & Easy FLU/COVID Recovery Guide here so you recover 4 days faster than the average 10 days illness.
How high sugars affect hearing loss
Remember the article where I talk about your “Sticky” blood?
Well, the same goes for your ears as it does for your eyes.
This “stickiness” sticks those tiny arteries together stopping blood flow to the nerve in the inner ear. Without blood flow to these nerves, your hearing will fail.
Hearing loss can’t be seen, so it’s usually noticed as a change in behavior.
You might notice that you are frequently asked to repeat yourself, keeps the TV volume very loud, or complains that you always mumble.
10 common signs of hearing loss in diabetics
- Having a problem hearing over the telephone
- Having trouble following the conversation when two or more people talk at the same time
- Turning the TV volume up too high
- Straining to understand the conversation
- Having trouble hearing in a noisy background, like in a restaurant
- Complaining of dizziness, pain, or ringing in their ears
- Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
- Complaining that other people mumble or don’t speak clearly
- Misunderstanding what people say and not answering in an expected way
- Having trouble understanding when women or children talk
I have a family member I really like but who is definitely hard of hearing.
Her TV stays on all the time.
To talk to her is almost impossible because I have to shout over her TV.
And she shouts back.
She will not get her hearing tested.
This does not make for a comfortable conversation.
I’m sure some of you can relate.
So let’s fix this!
First, let’s determine if you have hearing loss.
Get your hearing checked every year.
If you are a member of Costco, just make an appointment.
Or walk into any audiologist’s office and get a hearing test but don’t buy hearing aids yet! (see below).
Why are hearing tests important?
Hearing loss is progressive.
This means once it starts it continues and cannot be stopped.
This is most important to you, the diabetic, because we know the more sugar in your “hearing” blood vessels, the more likely the rate of hearing loss will increase.
But hearing tests not only tell you if you have hearing loss, but they also tell you the frequencies you are having trouble with.
If we can keep them in normal range you are going be better off.
With diabetes, you should be routinely assessed for hearing loss just as they are for eye and kidney complications.
You should be screened at the initial diagnosis of your diabetes as well as every year thereafter.
If you notice any of these 10 common signs or other signs of hearing loss, it’s important to visit the doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.
Untreated hearing problems increase the risk of dementia.
The Simplified Explanation of Diabetic Hearing Loss Related to Dementia
Remember, your ears do not hear.
All they do is vibrate the ear drum.
The ear drum’s vibration causes the nerves that sit right behind them to send signals to the brain.
It is the brain that “hears”.
Damage these nerves and you damage your hearing.
Now the brain has to work “overtime” to cope with its environment because you have lost one of your 5 senses, hearing.
This overload causes dementia.
Other signs of hearing loss in diabetics include a change in personality, like someone who used to be social, but now doesn’t want to spend time around groups of people.
And then those we care about think we have dementia.
My Secret Hearing Loss Tip!
I learned early on in my practice, not to diagnose or even test my patients for dementia until I first ruled out hearing loss.
Make sure you or your loved ones do not get misdiagnosed for dementia before they have a hearing tests and hearing aids if they need them.
Just in case you get flu or COVID, let’s keep your sugars under control by getting you a quicker recovery and back-to-normal life that you deserve.