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American Diabetes Association Alert Day

Today kick starts the American Diabetes Association's four-week awareness campaign. Complications of diabetes such as heart disease, kidney disease, neuropathy and vision loss or blindness are common knowledge. What most people are not aware of is that diabetics are about twice as likely to have hearing loss. Some experts believe that hearing loss is an under-recognized complication of diabetes. Untreated hearing loss is known to cause stress, anxiety, isolation, depression, frustration, cognitive decline, and disrupt relations whether with family, friends or in the workplace, and reduced income potential.

Chicago Hearing Society supports the Better Hearing Institute's 5 Habits for Healthier Hearing for People with Diabetes. You can take action to help protect your hearing by:

  1. Getting a thorough hearing exam every year and watching for signs of hearing loss: If you notice increased difficulty hearing get hearing checked sooner. Be sure to keep your primary care physician and endocrinologist apprised of your hearing health.
  2. Using hearing aids, if recommended: Hearing aids not only improve communication amongst family, friends and co-workers, they can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline and improve overall quality of life. Successful management of diabetes will depend upon effective communication between physician and patient; hearing aids are currently the best solution to improve communication for most people with hearing loss.
  3. Keeping your blood sugar under control: Your hearing health may depend upon controlling blood sugar. Similarly, the heart, eyes and nerve health are affected by blood sugar levels.
  4. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle: Studies show that smoking and obesity may increase the risk of hearing loss whereas regular physical activity appears to help protect against hearing loss. Therefore, exercising, healthy eating and not smoking benefits hearing health.
  5. Using ear protection: Everyone, including those with hearing loss, is at risk of noise-induced hearing loss. The simplest and best way to preserve hearing is by using ear protection. Disposable earplugs are inexpensive and readily available. Use them to protect hearing in loud work or other noisy environments. Keep the volume down when using smart phones or other electronics and minimize use of ear buds and headphones.

Diabetic or pre-diabetic? Contact Chicago Hearing Society and schedule your hearing test today. Call: 773-248-9121 ext. 322



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