Diabetes and Hearing Loss

While it may be interesting to note that 30 million people have diabetes and 34.5 million people have hearing loss in this country, there’s actually been a link proven between the two. Researchers just completed some studies of 20,000 people from the United States, Asia, Brazil and Australia to determine whether diabetes and hearing loss are intertwined. The answer is yes; however no one really knows why yet. You may have heard that you have twice the chance of having some degree of hearing loss than someone who is not diabetic. This is an alarming finding. This puts diabetes and hearing loss at the top in terms of two health concerns in the United States, points out the American Diabetes Association.

Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

Although one solution to curbing this correlation is to do a better job of controlling blood sugar levels in diabetics so hearing impairment doesn’t happen, not enough is known about the causes yet for this to be a an office suggestion. Because diabetics ingest many medications and diuretics related to lowering their blood pressure, no one knows if this could actually be causing the hearing loss. While the link between diabetes and hearing loss is not in question, the exact reason why is still unknown. The high blood glucose levels that are associated with diabetes can harm your inner ear’s sensitive blood vessels. This is one of the factors being explored but conclusive evidence is still yet to come. Hearing loss occur in diabetics just like they can suffer from problems with the eyes, kidneys and feet. But to learn more about the connection between the two conditions, more research must be undertaken. Old age and a noisy working environment, according to researchers – well known to cause hearing loss – don’t seem to play into the scenario of diabetes and hearing problems.

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

You may have difficulty picking up on background noise when there’s a crowd of people around. This is one big sign of hearing loss. Perhaps you only hear muffled sounds instead of clear words when people are talking to you. This too can lead to hearing loss as it relates to diabetes. Other signs of hearing loss include the failure to adequately keep track of conversations involving multiple participants, inability to distinguish the voices of small children or women, and the tendency to crank the volume to high on the TV or car radio. We know this can be embarrassing; however, it’s also dangerous. Driving a car or walking along a busy street, for instance, can pose a dangerous threat if you can’t hear what’s going on around you. You may also avoid parties so you don’t have to be embarrassed about not hearing anyone. This is why you should see an audiologist for diagnosis and treatment.

Testing for Diabetes

All diabetics should get routine testing for hearing loss. When you next see your doctor, ask for a hearing exam so you can get treated by a specialist right away. This should be part and parcel of any doctor visit for diabetics, yet it’s not – even though doctors check many other components of a diabetic’s health at checkups. Be an advocate for your ears and ask for an audiologist referral.

Foods that can Prevent Hearing Loss – and Hearing Aids

As you age, there are many different ways that your health can decline. One of the most concerning types of health failures is hearing loss, which affects a great deal of adults every year. However, there are many ways that you can preserve your hearing health throughout your life. Whether it is avoiding certain loud environments or eating the right foods to preserve your hearing, there are steps to take so that you can hear well into your senior years. We will take a look at the best foods that you can eat to help your hearing health.

Eat Some Chocolate

One of the most thrilling discoveries for chocolate lovers is that dark chocolate is a food that can help many people keep their hearing loss strong throughout their lives. This comes from the fact that there is an abundance of zinc and other antioxidants in the chocolate. In essence, this can protect you from loud noise induced damage while giving you an excuse to eat delicious foods.

Citrus Fruits

Another one of the foods that you can eat that are great for your hearing health are citrus fruits. These fruits are packed with many vitamins like E and C, both of which are great for giving your immune system a boost. This can be helpful because a lot of damage to your hearing occurs due to repeated infections in your inner ear. With fewer infections, there is a much lower incidence of hearing loss.


There are many health benefits to eating a good amount of vegetables throughout the day. Whether you are eating some cauliflower or broccoli, there are many different vitamins and other parts that can eliminate free radicals from your body. This means that you will have a healthier body, immune system, and a lower risk of cancer.


When it comes to eating fish, there are many hearing benefits that come with it. These benefits can be obtained by eating salmon and even tuna. The protective qualities come from the fact that they are full of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids encourage good heart health, which leads to improved circulation throughout your body. The end result of this is your ears are given the proper blood supply to stay healthy throughout your life.


Citrus are not the only fruits that can help you remain hearing healthy. Bananas are full of magnesium and are an easy snack to take with you. The magnesium can help prevent damage to the cells of your inner ear, allowing them to remain strong despite many years of aural assaults by games, sports, and other loud noises.

Earwax Removal – How you’re doing it wrong

Many people do it without even thinking: taking a cotton swab or paper implement and cleaning their ears to see if they can get the itching feeling to go away for a while. Some people develop too much earwax that does not flake out as they would like, and others just feel compelled to have clean ears. Yet, this results in many people taking the wrong measures to have clean ears. This article will look at three ways that people incorrectly clean their ears as well as the only proper way to have them cleaned.

Go To A Professional Audiologist

The best and only way that you should have your ears cleared of wax is by using a trained professional. They will be able to figure out the reason that you want to clean your ears, whether it is just a habit or if your body is producing too much ear wax. Then they can use their tools and technology to clean your ears without doing any damage to your eardrums. They can also establish a routine that will keep your ears clean between visits.

Ear Candles

Perhaps the very worst way to go about cleaning your ears is using an ear candle. This implement resembles a hollow candle that is supposed to heat up using a wick, and then form a suction action in your ear. This will make the earwax drain out with very little effort. Aside from the fact that the suction required has never been observed in studies, there is an inherent danger involving one’s hair and fire. Avoid this method at all costs.

By Using Cotton Swabs

Many people have used this method to clean their ears. People either use peroxide or water to wet the end of the swab and then swishing it through their ear in an attempt to clean out the wax. While this may look effective by the amount of wax that you can see on the swab, the simple fact is that most people do not know when to stop pushing into their eardrum. This can further compact the earwax or even perforate the eardrum, causing permanent damage.

Using Ear Drops

Another method of cleaning your ears of ear wax that is somewhat effective is using ear drops. These drops are placed into the ear and then sit until you turn your head over and allow the loosened wax to flow out. While this has a limited function, most of the time you will be disappointed with the results and the sensation that it leaves inside of your ear. This prompts many people to start using a cotton swab, which can take you back to the beginning of the process.

Protecting Yourself from Noise Induced Hearing Loss at Live Concerts

If you have ever been at a concert and thought “This music is simply too loud,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve become too old for this sort of music. This reaction could be your body’s means of telling you that you are in danger of hearing impairment. If, after you’ve left the concert, and for the following few days you’ve had a ringing in your ears (tinnitus) or experienced difficulty hearing as well as usual, you may have experienced noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL.

This can happen even after brief exposures to loud noises, and occurs because high decibel sounds can result in physical damage to the very small hair cells that receive auditory signals in the interior of the ear and transmit the signals to the brain, where they are interpreted as sounds. Typically, the NIHL resulting from a single exposure to very loud music or noise is short-lived, and will go away within a couple of days. However in the event that you continue to expose yourself to loud noise or music, it can cause tinnitus that doesn’t go away, or a long-term loss of hearing.

How much damage very loud music does to a person’s hearing is dependant upon a couple of things – how loud the music is, and how long you are exposed to it. Noise levels are measured on the decibel scale, which is logarithmic and therefore difficult for many people to understand; a rise of ten decibels on the scale means that the sound at the higher rating is two times as loud. Thus the noise of noisy city traffic (85 decibels) isn’t just a little bit louder than the sound of ordinary speech (65 decibels), it’s four times louder. A rock concert, at which the sound level is commonly in the range of 115 decibels, is 10 times louder than standard speech. In addition to precisely how loud the music is, the second factor that determines how much damage is done is how long you are exposed to it, the permissible exposure time. Hearing loss can occur from being exposed to sound at 85 decibels after only eight hours. In contrast, the permissible exposure time that you can be exposed to music at 115 decibels without risking hearing loss is less than one minute. Add to this the knowledge that the sound level at some concerts has been recorded at over 140 decibels, and you have a high risk predicament.

Projections from audiologists claim that by the year 2050 up to fifty million Americans will have sustained hearing loss resulting from exposure to very loud music. Bearing this in mind, many live concert promoters and concert venues have started supplying sound-baffling ear plugs to attendees for a minimal charge. One well known UK rock and roll band actually collaborated with an earplug manufacturer to offer them free of charge to people attending its concerts. Some concertgoers have reported seeing signs in the auditoriums that proclaim, “Earplugs are sexy.” Earplugs may, in fact, not be very sexy, but they could possibly save your hearing.

Any of our hearing specialists here would be pleased to supply you with information about earplugs. In case a noisy rock and roll concert is in your near future, we strongly suggest that you consider wearing a good pair.

Buying Advice for Kids’ Headphones

One thing you can look forward to if you have kids is that sooner or later they will ask you to buy them some headphones to work with their music players, game systems and computers. And there are valid reasons for this, because headphones can enhance the experience with these multimedia, but at the same time there are certain characteristics you should look for when you buy.

An important feature that most buyers would not normally consider is making sure that the headphones fit correctly. Headphones which are intended for grownups are made for their full-sized heads, and will not simply not fit the right way on kids, they won’t provide a complete spectrum of sound to them. You should not rationalize the size difference by believing that the kids will grow into them. In reality, the constant fidgeting and adjusting will probably result in a shorter life due to breakage. Headsets made for children are developed with a growing child in mind. Most have an adjustable head band which allows your child to obtain a perfect fit now and for years to come.

The most crucial characteristic you should look for, however, is that the headphones are equipped with some type of Sound Limiting Technology. By nature, children will use the highest possible volume settings to completely immerse themselves in the experience. Parents recognize that this is a very terrible idea which could contribute to future loss of hearing. Seeking out headphones that have a volume limits built in – somewhere around 80 to 85 decibels – is the most effective way to combat this tendency. This recommendation is just as true for ear buds or similar devices that one inserts into the outer ear canal as it is for over-the-ear headphones.

A different thing take into consideration is durability and sturdiness, because kids are hard on delicate things, and certain headphones can be very fragileindeed. Refer to consumer guides or parents’ magazines to learn which models of headphones have a reputation for durability and for lasting a long time. Make sure you balance this desire for durability with a bias toward light weight, however because you don’t want your kids to be wearing headphones that are too heavy for their body and head.

Whichever model headphones you go with, make an effort to restrict your children’s use of them to just a couple hours daily. Being inundated by sound all day, even if the earbuds or headphones restrict the volume level, can still create subtle damage to youngster’s sensitive ears.

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