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Consumer Tips

How are diabetes and hearing loss related?

Are you or your family members diabetic? Here is an informative post from our partners at Amplifon addressing the relationship between diabetes and hearing loss.

How are diabetes and hearing loss related?

The connection between diabetes and hearing loss  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 the 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. 

At Union Plus we ensure our members are supported by providing the premier products, services, and education that will help them maintain a high quality of life. Hearing loss is a degenerative condition that cannot be reversed but can be treated. 


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