It might be an accident — or maybe not — that fast on the heels of the sugar fest that is Halloween comes National Diabetes Month. The theme this year is how the condition is linked to cardiovascular disease.
As noted in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) press release: “Adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as people without diabetes. This is because, over time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart.”
There could also be a hearing loss footnote there.
That’s because the long-term blood vessel damage that can injure the heart can do the same to the ears. Although tiny, the ears’ apparatus are energy-intensive and very dependent on good blood flow.
As with the connection with heart disease, there is now statistical proof that diabetes is linked to a higher probability of hearing loss. In fact, diabetics are also twice as likely to suffer hearing problems when compared to people who are free of the syndrome.
According to the NIDDK statement, anyone diagnosed should stop smoking (or using any tobacco products); manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels; pursue healthy lifestyle habits, including being more physically active; and follow physician instructions vis-à-vis prescriptions and other necessary treatment.
With regard to the specifics of hearing, there’s also a greater need to defend ears from further damage. Reduced glucose and oxygen transfer from the blood to any damaged parts of the ear can amplify the situation, since there is a reduced capability of the body to heal itself. Therefore, using ear protection in loud noise environments is even more important for diabetics.