Diabetes complications can affect the eyes, kidneys, heart - and hearing. Women with poorly controlled diabetes may be at higher risk for hearing loss than those who keep their blood sugar well controlled.
That's the conclusion of a study at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Researchers looked at a group of 990 men and women who had hearing testing done at the hospital between 2000 and 2008. They separated out those who had diabetes, and divided that subgroup into those with well-controlled diabetes and those with poorly controlled diabetes.
Women ages 60 to 75 with well-controlled diabetes had hearing loss that was 14 percent worse than women in that age group who didn't have diabetes. Among women in that age group with poorly controlled diabetes, hearing loss was 28 percent worse.
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Indications and Usage for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)
Prescription Lantus® is a long-acting insulin used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes and adults and children (6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes for the control of high blood sugar. It should be taken once a day at the same time each day to lower blood glucose.
Do not use Lantus® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.
Important Safety Information for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)
Do not take Lantus® if you are allergic to insulin or any of the inactive ingredients in Lantus®.
You must test your blood sugar levels while using insulin, such as Lantus®. Do not make any changes to your dose or type of insulin without talking to your healthcare provider. Any change of insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision.
Do NOT dilute or mix Lantus® with any other insulin or solution. It will not work as intended and you may lose blood sugar control, which could be serious. Lantus® must only be used if the solution is clear and colorless with no particles visible. Do not share needles, insulin pens or syringes with others.
The most common side effect of insulin, including Lantus®, is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which may be serious. Some people may experience symptoms such as shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision. Severe hypoglycemia may be serious and life threatening. It may cause harm to your heart or brain. Other possible side effects may include injection site reactions, including changes in fat tissue at the injection site, and allergic reactions, including itching and rash. In rare cases, some allergic reactions may be life threatening.
Tell your doctor about other medicines and supplements you are taking because they can change the way insulin works. Before starting Lantus®, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including if you have liver or kidney problems, are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.
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Younger women with diabetes, well-managed or not, were more likely to have hearing loss than those unaffected by the illness.
The new study, presented at a recent meeting of the Triological Society, is important because it looked at diabetes control. Earlier studies on diabetes and hearing loss did not take into account blood-glucose levels. The Triological Society, also known as the American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society Inc., is a professional organization for ear, nose, and throat specialists.
Men in the study did not seem to show a link between diabetes and hearing loss. But men are more likely to suffer from hearing loss than women, so this prevalence may mask diabetes' effect, says study author Kathleen Yaremchuk, M.D.
Men are exposed to more environmental causes of hearing loss, such as loud noise, either in the workplace or during leisure activities, she says.
The bottom line for people with diabetes is the importance of blood glucose control. Managing diabetes properly should help prevent hearing loss or keep it from getting worse, Dr. Yaremchuk says.
What's unknown is if better management of diabetes can reverse hearing loss that's already occurred.
Recommendations call for people with diabetes to have their vision checked every year, says Spyros Mezitis, M.D., at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
This study suggests people with diabetes may also need to have their hearing tested, Dr. Mezitis says.
Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.