The Truth About Diabetes and Hearing Loss

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The latest report by the CDC estimates there are more than 30 million Americans suffering from diabetes and another 84 million who are thought to have pre-diabetes. As scientists continue to research the effects of diabetes, they’re uncovering connections to a number of other health conditions, including vision issues and hearing loss. If you or a loved one has diabetes or is at risk of diabetes, here’s what you should know.

Diabetics Are at High Risk for Hearing Loss

In two recent studies, scientists have discovered that people with diabetes show a higher rate of hearing loss across all ages, races, sexes, and levels of previous noise exposure. Additionally, people of all ages with diabetes are more than twice as likely to have hearing loss. Diabetics under 60 are also nearly three times more likely to develop hearing loss as they age.

Controlling Diabetes May Reduce the Risk of Hearing Loss

However, hearing loss is not inevitable. A 2012 study from the Henry Ford hospital showed that women aged 60-75 who controlled their diabetes maintained similar hearing ability to non-diabetic women in the same age group.

The Link Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

Diabetes is known to cause blood vessel disease and nerve damage, particularly in the kidneys and eyes. For example, diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the small blood vessels in the eye. Similarly, there are many tiny blood vessels in the ear that need to be healthy in order for you to hear well. Scientists believe that the increased blood glucose levels cause damage to the small blood vessels in various parts of the ear that are absolutely critical to hearing.

If you or a family member develop hearing loss, as a VSP member, you have access to TruHearing, which saves you on the cost of hearing aids. VSP members and their extended family can save up to 60% on digital hearing aids, saving them thousands of dollars. To take advantage of this offer, call TruHearing at 1-855-205-6259. For more details, visit truhearing.com/vsp.

Need to make an appointment with an eye doctor? Find a VSP network practice near you.

Disclaimer: VSP is providing information to its members, but does not offer or provide any discount hearing program. The relationship between VSP and TruHearing is that of independent contractors. VSP makes no endorsement, representations or warranties regarding any products or services offered by TruHearing, a third-party vendor. The vendor is solely responsible for the products or services offered by them. If you have any questions regarding the services offered here, you should contact the vendor directly.

TruHearing offers individuals the opportunity to purchase hearing aids at discounted prices, including individuals covered by self-funded health plans not subject to state insurance or health plan regulations. TruHearing is not insurance and not subject to state insurance regulations. TruHearing provides discounts to certain health care groups for hearing aid sales and services; TruHearing provides fitting, programming and three adjustment visits at no cost; the member is obligated to pay for testing, and all post-fitting hearing care services, but will receive a discount from those health care providers who have contracted with TruHearing. Not available directly from VSP in the states of Washington and California.

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