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 a quick and confidential online hearing test today, at www.hearingcheck.org.
Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 11, 2010
The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) announced today that it is joining the Stop Diabetes movement by promoting the 22nd Annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day, which will take place on March 23, 2010. BHI also is urging anyone with diabetes to get their hearing checked. To help in the effort, BHI has made available a free, quick, and confidential online hearing test at http://www.hearingcheck.org to help people with diabetes determine if they need a comprehensive hearing check by a hearing professional.
Hearing loss is about twice as common in adults with diabetes compared to those who do not have the disease, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Yet hearing screenings typically are not part of the regular regimen of care that people with diabetes are routinely recommended to receive. Nor do the vast majority of doctors in today’s health care system include hearing health as a routine part of annual exams, leaving people with diabetes all the more vulnerable to the negative impact that unaddressed hearing loss has on an individual’s life.
"Hearing loss affects virtually every aspect of a person's life, making it all the harder for people with diabetes to cope with their disease,” said Sergei Kochkin, PhD, BHI's executive director. “A hearing check is invaluable in determining whether or not someone with diabetes does have a hearing loss and will help to ensure that they get the treatment they need."
The American Diabetes Association Alert Day is a one-day "wake-up" call to inform the American public about the seriousness of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) encourages people to join the movement to Stop Diabetes by taking the Diabetes Risk Test and find out if they, or their loved ones, are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a devastating disease that, according to ADA, affects nearly 24 million Americans. Nearly 6 million Americans are unaware they have diabetes. An additional 57 million, or one in five Americans have pre-diabetes, which puts them at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. If current trends continue, one in three children born today will face a future with diabetes.
For many, diagnosis of type 2 diabetes may come seven to ten years after the onset of the disease. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.
Among the primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are being overweight, sedentary, over the age of 45, and having a family history of diabetes. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders are at an increased risk, as are women who have had babies weighing more than nine pounds at birth. Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing just five to seven percent of body weight through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating.
"For years, physicians who treat people with diabetes have regularly ensured that their patients receive regular vision check-ups," said Kochkin. "Now we need to ensure that they get their hearing checked as well by encouraging everyone with diabetes to ask their doctors to check their hearing regularly.”
Numerous studies have linked untreated hearing loss to a wide range of physical and emotional conditions, including irritability, negativism, anger, fatigue, tension, stress, depression, avoidance or withdrawal from social situations, social rejection and loneliness, reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety, impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks, reduced job performance and earning power, and diminished psychological and overall health.
"American Diabetes Association Alert Day is a tremendously valuable initiative because it prompts people to take a simple 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 a quick and confidential online hearing test today, at http://www.hearingcheck.org, to determine if they need a comprehensive hearing check by a hearing professional."
For more information about American Diabetes Association Alert Day, visit stopdiabetes.com, where anyone can join the movement to Stop Diabetes, take the Diabetes Risk Test, learn secrets to stop diabetes, and easily share tools and resources with loved ones.
Founded in 1973, the BHI conducts research and engages in hearing health education with the goal of helping people with hearing loss to benefit from proper treatment.