Educating Diabetics on Hearing Loss
Diabetes is a metabolic disease that affects every single part of the human body, mainly through the damage sustained by nerves and blood vessels due to anomalies in the blood glucose levels in diabetes. There are many complications associated with diabetes, the most severe being amputation, severe kidney disease, and stroke. A condition that, due to lack of education, is not normally associated with diabetes is hearing loss. In fact, diabetes is directly related to hearing loss, especially in older adults.
Diabetes acts on the blood vessels and nerves. As the walls of the blood vessels deteriorate and nerves start to decrease in their function, sensitivity to impulses is reduced. Many diabetics are familiar with the phenomenon of losing sensibility on the skin of different parts of the body. Something similar happens with the nerve endings that are in charge of transmitting electrical impulses from sound waves that hit the inner ear. The apparatus of the inner ear, the one in charge of actually converting sound into electrical impulses that are sent to the brain, can also be damaged by bad blood glucose management.
Hearing loss in diabetics is quite prevalent. In fact, type 2 diabetics are twice as likely to suffer from this condition than people that do not have cancer. However, it is important to note that there is hope for most people with hearing loss, whether related to diabetes or not. Most cases of hearing loss are treatable or can be improved through a number of ways. The great challenge facing medical practitioners today is educating the public about the connection between diabetes and hearing loss and making sure that everyone that suffers from hearing loss seeks help.
A good way to reach out to people with hearing loss and diabetes is through conferences and seminars, as well as through expositions detailing the connection between the two conditions. Many manufacturers of hearing aids as well as government organisms have started organizing these kinds of reunions, as well as publishing reference material like pamphlets and booklets to let people know of the importance of getting treatment for diabetes and raising the awareness amongst seniors about the demonstrated relationship between hearing loss and diabetes. An important tool in educating the public about these issues is the internet. Reference websites as well as interactive multimedia presentations on the internet will go a long way towards promoting awareness about hearing loss and diabetes, especially today that more and more seniors are using the internet and computers regularly.
If you are a diabetic it is important to get your hearing checked periodically by a professional. Many organizations offer free screening and a quick search on any search engine will turn up a site near you where you can get this checkup done free of charge. With today’s technology there is practically no reason to live with hearing loss if one can avoid it. There have been incredible advances in hearing aids and prosthesis for the hearing impaired in the last decade. Almost all cases of hearing loss can be improved to some degree and many are completely reversible.
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