Experts have long known that complications from diabetes can affect the health of your eyes, kidneys, and heart, but now researchers are making clearer connections between diabetes and the risk it poses to your hearing health.

Researchers from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit studied a group of 990 men and women who underwent hearing testing between 2000 and 2008, categorizing them by age before separating them into two subgroups: those who had diabetes, and those who did not. These subgroups were then divided into those with well-controlled diabetes and those with poorly controlled diabetes.

Their conclusion? Women with poorly controlled diabetes may be at a higher risk for hearing loss than those who manage the disease. The researchers discovered that women age 60-75 with well-controlled diabetes ages had hearing loss that was 14 % worse than women in the same age group without diabetes. For women ages 60-75 with poorly controlled diabetes, hearing loss was 28% worse.

“A certain degree of hearing loss is a normal part of the aging process for all of us, but it is often accelerated in patients with diabetes, especially if blood-glucose levels are not being controlled with medication and diet,” says Derek J. Handzo, D.O., with the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford.

While managing your diabetes is essential in maintaining general health, managing hearing difficulties is also important part of leading a more active and engaged way of life. Asking your general practitioner to refer you to an experienced hearing care specialist in your community is the first step in taking control of your hearing health. Those who undergo regular hearing evaluations and are fit with the appropriate hearing technology for their particular hearing difficulty are more likely to engage in social activities accompanied by a loved one, which tend to be more active in nature than those done by oneself.

Many AudigyCertified hearing care providers agree that the best approach to living a healthier lifestyle is a holistic one. Properly fit hearing technology fine-tuned by an experienced professional can help you achieve better hearing, and better hearing—along with a nutritious diet and regular exercise—can help you lead a more active lifestyle to help manage complications caused by diabetes.

Those interested learning more about this Henry Ford study, or want to learn more about better hearing health are encouraged to visit www.henryford.com and www.AGXhearing.com.