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The Relationship Between Diabetes & Hearing Loss

Diabetics tend to suffer from hearing loss at higher levels when compared to individuals without the condition. Research suggests that people who are considered pre-diabetic – individuals identified as being at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes due to factors like weight, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels – may also have a greater chance of experiencing hearing loss.

Possible Causes of Diabetic Hearing Loss

The exact cause of diabetic hearing loss is unknown. However, Albuquerque elder care experts say it may be related to damage caused to small blood vessels in the inner ear due to high blood sugar levels. Signs that your aging parent or loved one may be experiencing hearing loss include, but are not limited to:

  • Asking people to repeat things
  • Turning the TV up louder than usual
  • Misinterpreting what’s being said (sometimes giving the appearance of confusion)
  • Trouble hearing higher sounds (may include people speaking in higher voices)

Why Hearing Loss in Diabetics is Hard to Spot

Diabetic hearing loss is often hard to spot because it generally occurs gradually. It’s also not unusual for diabetics to have periods when their hearing seems normal, and other times when their inability to hear is clearly impacting daily life, such as not being able to hear during a face-to-face or phone conversation.

For seniors in particular, hearing loss is often attributed to old age rather than associated with a condition like diabetes. As a result, when a senior is not able to hear, some family members and caregivers may make a false assumption that he or she has a form of dementia.

How Family Members Can Help

When diabetic hearing loss is suspected, schedule a doctor’s appointment or seek referral to an audiologist, a doctor specializing in hearing loss, for further evaluation to determine the extent of the problem. The doctor may be able to suggest treatment options such as customized hearing aids or ways to help keep blood sugar levels in check, ultimately helping to prevent further deterioration related to diabetes

If your loved one is living with hearing loss that may be impacting their ability to carry out daily tasks safely, in-home care is another option. Caregivers from reputable home care agencies like Home Care Assistance of Albuquerque can assist seniors with activities of daily living, help with nutritious meal preparation in accordance with diabetic restrictions, and can also provide reliable transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments. To learn more about Home Care Assistance’s hourly or live-in care services in Albuquerque, call 505-798-0800 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager.