How Diabetes Could Rob You of Your Hearing

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How Diabetes Could Rob You of Your HearingOne of the big problems with diabetes is that it can trigger complications that affect certain areas of the body. A new study has delivered health news having to do with hearing: diabetes, if not controlled well, boosts your risk of hearing loss.

The health breakthrough came when examining women between 60 and 75 years of age. Researchers found that those with well-controlled diabetes had better hearing than women with poorly-controlled diabetes. They also found far worse hearing in women younger than 60 who have diabetes.

(Strangely enough, men had worse hearing loss compared to women, regardless of age or if they were diabetic.) RECOMMENDED: Protecting Your Hearing Through Diet

The normal process of aging includes a certain degree of hearing loss. But it is often accelerated in patients with diabetes — especially if blood-glucose levels are not under control with diet and medication. Their study was published last week in Miami at a medical conference.

This study wanted to see about hearing differences among patients with well-controlled diabetes, poorly controlled diabetes, and those who do not have diabetes. They looked at records for 990 patients between 2000 and 2008. Patients were categorized by gender, age, and whether they had diabetes. For what may be the first time, they studied blood glucose levels and compared them to levels of hearing loss.

Women between 60 and 75 with poorly controlled diabetes had significantly worse hearing than those whose diabetes was well-controlled and the control group. For women under 60 with diabetes, they had worse hearing than healthy controls regardless of how well their condition was controlled.

About 26 million Americans have diabetes. Another 34.5 million have some degree of hearing loss. Signs of hearing loss include difficulty hearing background noises or hearing conversations in large groups, as well as regularly needing to turn up the volume on a radio or TV.

The key is to control diabetes if you have it. Some quick tips: eat healthy foods and maintaining a healthy weight. If you are overweight, dropping just five percent of your weight will make a big difference in blood sugar control. Fill yourself on fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains while limiting saturated fat intake. Be sure to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. This will also better control the condition. Also, drink alcohol only in moderation, try to get sound sleeps, and take serious measures to combat stress if you suffer it.