Hearing Loss and Diseases
Adults with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss as adults that do not have diabetes according to a study funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH).
"Hearing loss may be an under recognized complication of diabetes. As diabetes becomes more common, the disease may become a more significant contributor to hearing loss," said senior author Catherine Cowie, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK), who suggested that people with diabetes should consider having their hearing tested. "Our study found a strong and consistent link between hearing impairment and diabetes using a number of different outcomes."
The article in NIH News went on to explain that "researchers discovered the higher rate of hearing loss in those with diabetes after analyzing the results of hearing tests given to a nationally representative sample of adults in the United States. The test measured participants' ability to hear low, middle, and high frequency sounds in both ears."
"The link between diabetes and hearing loss was evident across all frequencies, with a stronger association in the high frequency range."
"Mild or greater hearing impairment of low- or mid-frequency sounds in the worse ear was about 21 percent in 399 adults with diabetes compared to about 9 percent in 4,741 adults without diabetes. For high frequency sounds, mild or greater hearing impairment in the worst ear was 54 percent in those with diabetes compared to 32 percent in those who did not have the disease."
"Adults with pre-diabetes, whose blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis, had a 30 percent higher rate of hearing loss compared to those with normal blood sugar..."
CONCLUSION: if you, family members, friends or acquaintances have diabetes or have been told they are pre-diabetic, encourage them to have a hearing screening. Such screenings are free at Ross Hearing Center. Contact us for an appointment.
American Heart Association statistics show that heart disease is the number one cause of death in this country. But heart disease can also erode the quality of life. Hearing loss is one example of this.
A study published in the American Journal of Audiology last summer showed a direct relationship between poor cardiovascular health and hearing loss.
The inner ear is extremely sensitive to blood flow. Decreased blood flow and/or trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear - especially the cochlea, can contribute to this loss of hearing. Conversely, a healthy cardiovascular system - heart, arteries and veins - has a positive effect on hearing health. Research has shown a 54% increase in hearing loss among older adults that suffer from heart disease. Fortunately, the same study indicated a 32% reduction in hearing loss among older adults who exercised at least once a week.
We urge you to protect your heart as well as your hearing. Have regular check-ups for both and continue to engage in a healthy lifestyle.