Can't Hear Your Spouse? It Might Be Your Diabetes...
Is it getting harder to hear people during social situations? Do you feel embarrassed having to ask people to repeat themselves, again and again? If you've been struggling with your hearing, new research suggests that it might be related to your type 2 diabetes.
Examination of various hearing studies has led scientists to suspect that type 2 diabetes may be a contributing factor in the development of nerve damage associated with hearing impairment in young, as well as aging persons with diabetes. Across these various studies, the prevalence of hearing impairment among all age groups was such, as to be evidence for the need to add hearing testing to routine diabetes checkups. This may have already been a point of routine testing for older persons with diabetes, but the data was able to show that hearing impairment was, overall, not just due to the natural aging process, among other variables.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition which doesn't just impact the level of our blood sugars; it also impacts the health of our body's various nerve endings. With time, when blood sugars are consistently high, these nerve endings may die or become damaged, affecting the function and health of our various bodily organs and extremities. It's very important that we keep blood sugar levels as close to a healthy range as possible, as to minimize the potential development for these complications.
But high blood sugars are not the only reason why we may develop complications. Other factors such as aging or genetics may play a role -- so it's necessary that we go through regular yearly checkups to gauge our overall health. We may not think we need them, but the progression of diabetes and damage to our organs is often slow, and sometimes not detectable except by consistent testing. This is one of the reasons why so many persons with diabetes may go undiagnosed or not suspect they have the condition, and why it's often known as a 'silent disease.'
Visiting our clinicians regularly will allow them to perform routine bloodwork, and refer us to specialists who can help catch problems or concerns on time, and keep track of the overall health of our bodies. Our kidneys, liver, eyes, and teeth, as well as our hearing, are all areas of our health which we might often ignore, but which if negatively impacted will greatly reduce our quality of life.
If you are concerned about your hearing, or suspect you or a loved one may be having some impairment problems, please contact your clinician or medical team. Don’t shrug it off as an inconvenience. Aside from being annoying, it might be a sign that you have nerve damage or that your diabetes regimen needs a tune up.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your diabetes?