Check Your Hearing This November for American Diabetes Month

Check Your Hearing This November for American Diabetes Month

In Hearing Health, Hearing Tests by audseo

November is American Diabetes Month, which makes it a great time to check your hearing. A lesser-known condition associated with diabetes, hearing loss is linked to this chronic health condition. In fact, a recent study revealed that hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes compared to those without. 


When researchers examined the nearly 90 million people in the United States who suffer from diabetes, they found that they had a 30 percent higher rate of hearing loss than in people who had normal blood sugar levels. 

Diabetes in the United States

The American Diabetes Association sponsors the American Diabetes Month campaign to bring more awareness to the condition. It’s one of the leading chronic health issues in the US, with just over more than one in ten Americans living with diabetes. 


This November, the message of American Diabetes Month is “We Stand Greater Than” — a rallying cry to bring hope and empowerment to people and communities struggling with diabetes, leading us toward a future cure and more resources for healthful living right now.

Hearing loss is an epidemic

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) called hearing loss our country’s “growing and silent epidemic” in 2018. One in eight persons in the United States has hearing loss in both ears, according to standard hearing tests. And it’s a condition that affects older people disproportionately. Age is the leading predicting factor in relation to hearing loss.

Types of hearing loss

The two most common types of hearing loss are both more likely to occur as we grow older. Age-induced hearing loss happens when the important cells of the inner ear decline due to the natural aging process. 


Noise-induced hearing loss happens when a person is exposed to dangerously loud noise. This can happen all at once, such as in an accident or explosion with extremely loud sound. It can also happen slowly, over time, when a person is repeatedly exposed to too-loud noise. We often associate this with noisy professions like factory, farm, or construction work. However, there are recreational hobbies like snowmobiling, boating, and sport shooting that can also result in noise-induced hearing loss. 


There is no cure for hearing loss, though there are proven, successful interventions that have worked for many people. Hearing aids and cochlear implants can dramatically improve one’s hearing experience. 


How diabetes is linked to hearing loss

Scientists are uncertain as to the exact cause of hearing loss in people with diabetes, but they posit that spiking blood sugar levels that can occur with diabetes may cause damage to the inner ear. The cells of the inner ear are integral to the hearing process. While our ears get a lot of the spotlight, it is these fine cells that receive sound information from the external world and communicate it to the brain via the auditory nerve. These cells are non-regenerative, which means that if they fall into decline they do not repair themselves. 


When these inner ear cells are no longer functioning, less sound information is collected from the external world. Then, the brain receives less sound in its processing centers. Our experience of this loss of information is a decline in hearing. We simply hear less.

Early signs of hearing loss

When noise-induced hearing loss occurs suddenly, in a violently loud episode, a person is usually quite aware that their hearing has been impacted. However, most cases of late-onset hearing loss, both age-related and noise-induced, can appear more subtly. Hearing loss is more suited to professional exams and testing, rather than self-diagnosis.


Early signs that you might be experiencing hearing loss can be noticing that conversations are becoming more difficult to participate in. It might seem as though everyone around you is mumbling all the time. You might notice you’re cranking up the volume on your personal devices and televisions in order to catch more of the dialogue. 

Schedule a hearing test today

Developing a regular habit of hearing exams can be a great way to prioritize your hearing health and stay on top of any changes in your hearing ability. Our team of hearing health professionals stand ready to lead you through the easy process of a hearing consultation