According to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study, diabetics are twice as likely to suffer from hearing loss as the general population. How did I already know this intuitively?
As a Type I diabetic, I go out of my way to stay in good shape. I also try to keep up with the latest developments in screening for diabetes related complications. Unfortunately, diabetics are prone to more health issues, no matter how much we watch our diets, keep in shape and keep up with the latest scientific research on the disease. So earlier onset of hearing loss is really no surprise.
Most health problems for diabetics stem from the damage the disease does to our vascular systems. In this case, loss of vascular suppleness could lead to nerve damage in the middle and inner ear, leading to early onset hearing loss. One more bummer to look forward to. Treating hearing loss for diabetics is complicated by the fact that many of us tend to have skin problems on our scalps and inside our ears. An itchy ear does not do well with a hearing aid inside. The body wants to expel it.
On the plus side, the hearing aid industry has developed a product called a mini-behind-the-ear hearing device which places a tiny amplifier inside the ear with the bulk of the hearing aid fitting snugly behind the ear. The diminutive size of the object inside the ear makes it much easier to adjust to the hearing aid as a diabetic with skin issues.
Now if we could just get the hearing aid industry to market to us as a still young and vital group. I can live with diabetes and some hearing loss but I am not ready to also be categorized as total geezer.