27 July 2012

Untreated diabetes intensifies the risk of hearing loss

Research shows that if diabetes in women is left uncontrolled, they are more likely to develop a greater degree of hearing loss.

Blood-glucose levels should be handled with medication and a controlled diet if you are diagnosed with diabetes. Lack of treatment could lead to a higher risk of experiencing hearing loss. Those are the results from a study conducted by Dr. Derek J. Handzo from the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery in Detroit, USA.

Through research presented in Miami Beach at the Triological Society's Combined Sections Meeting, Dr. Derek J. Handzo found that diabetic women between the ages of 60 and 75 exhibited impaired hearing skills if their blood-glucose levels were not treated. Meanwhile, the women who did control their blood-glucose levels showed similar hearing levels to non-diabetic women at the same age.

"A certain degree of hearing loss is a normal part of the aging process for all of us," says Dr. Derek J. Handzo, "but it is often accelerated in patients with diabetes, especially if their blood-glucose levels are not being controlled with medication and diet."

Medical records showed results

Those with diabetes were categorised as to whether their condition was well-controlled or poorly-controlled. This was measured with the official guidelines for blood levels from American Diabetes Association.

By focusing on the frequency in which people tend to talk and on the high frequencies used in music and alarms, the research team found that diabetic women with poorly controlled blood-glucose levels were more likely to experience a greater degree of hearing loss than any other group in the study.

Dr. Derek J. Handzo conducted his research at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, USA. Here, his team examined the records for 990 people who had audiograms carried out at the hospital. Patients were divided into groups by gender, age and whether or not they had diabetes.


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