Washington, DC — The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is urging people with diabetes to take the Across America Hearing Check Challenge and is encouraging others to find out if they’re at risk for developing type 2 diabetes by taking the Diabetes Risk Test. BHI’s efforts are part of the nationwide effort to promote American Diabetes Association Alert Day® on March 27.

Hearing loss is about twice as common in adults with diabetes compared to those who do not have the disease, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Yet hearing screenings often are not part of the regular regimen of care that people with diabetes receive. And the vast majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids.

Another recent study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found women between the ages of 60 and 75 with well-controlled diabetes had better hearing than women with poorly controlled diabetes, with similar hearing levels to those of non-diabetic women of the same age. The study also shows significantly worse hearing in all women younger than 60 with diabetes, even if it is well controlled.

Sergei Kochkin, PhD, BHI’s executive director, said, "Unaddressed hearing loss negatively affects virtually every aspect of a person’s life, from cognitive function to emotional well-being, making it all the more difficult for people with diabetes to cope with their disease, By taking our free, quick, and confidential online hearing check, at www.hearingcheck.org, anyone can determine if they need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing professional.”

American Diabetes Association Alert Day, which is held every fourth Tuesday in March, is a one-day, “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This year’s all-new Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history, and other potential risks for pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider.

“Diabetes Alert Day is a tremendously valuable initiative because it prompts people to take the Diabetes Risk Test and to make changes in the way they live so they can preserve their health," said Kochkin. "It’s also important that people with diabetes understand that they may be at an increased risk of hearing loss as a result of their disease. We urge anyone with diabetes to take the Across America Hearing Check Challenge at www.hearingcheck.org."

SOURCE: The Better Hearing Institute (BHI)