Hearing loss is a growing problem in the United States, affecting plenty of people’s ears and hearing abilities on a day-to-day basis. Coincidentally, diabetes is also a growing problem in the United States that can lead to several other health complications. This sparks theories and queries about whether or not the two are correlated.
While more evidence and research are needed to confirm the link between diabetes and hearing loss, there are some things to consider regarding the two’s connections. Continue reading to learn more.
The Definition of Hearing Loss
To start, let’s dive into the definition of hearing loss, which is the partial or complete inability to hear. If you suspect the potential of hearing loss, it’s important to see a doctor or audiologist for a hearing test.
There are two main types of hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the outer or middle ear. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve.
The Usual Risks of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss affects millions of people worldwide. Hearing loss has many different causes, and it can often be difficult to determine the exact cause. However, some general risks can increase your chances of developing hearing loss.
For example, loud noises, old age, earwax buildup, and even some medications can lead to hearing loss. Apart from that, certain medical conditions can also increase your risk of hearing loss. Hearing loss can be temporary or permanent.
How Diabetes Impacts Hearing
Diabetes is a chronic condition that can majorly impact many different body systems, including the ears. Unfortunately, if you have diabetes, you have an increased risk of developing hearing loss.
Diabetes can cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels in the body, including those in the inner ear. It can also cause changes in the way the body uses and stores glucose, which can lead to hearing loss.
Hearing Assessment Tests to Undergo
There are a few different types of hearing tests that your doctor may recommend if you have diabetes. These tests can help to assess your hearing and determine if you have any hearing loss.
- Pure Tone Testing. Pure tone testing is used to assess your hearing threshold or the softest sound you can hear. A pure tone is a sound that is of a single frequency, like a tuning fork. This test is usually done using an audiometer, which is a machine that produces pure tones at different frequencies.
- Speech Testing. A speech test is used to measure how well you hear and understand speech. This test can help to identify if you have hearing loss or if you have difficulty understanding speech.
- Middle Ear Testing. Middle ear testing is used to assess the health of your middle ear. This test is usually done using a tympanometer, which is a machine that measures the pressure in your middle ear.
Some evidence suggests that there may be a correlation between hearing loss and diabetes. However, more research is needed to confirm this link. If you have diabetes, it is important to monitor your hearing health and see a doctor if you experience any changes in your hearing.
Looking to get hearing tests in Massachusetts? Hear More Associates is one of the most trusted hearing care specialists caring for patients throughout Lexington and Greater Boston. Contact us today!