Hearing Loss & Diabetes

Posted: January 08 2020

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), adults living with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss than those without diabetes. In addition, it was found that adults who are pre-diabetic, showed a 30% greater likelihood of having hearing loss than those with normal blood-sugar levels.  

While the causal link between diabetes and hearing loss is still not well-understood, the NIH suggests that "diabetes may lead to hearing loss by damaging the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear", and that "autopsy studies of diabetes patients have shown evidence of such damage". Audiological test results from participants in this study demonstrated that, "the link between diabetes and hearing loss was evident across all frequencies, with a stronger association in the high frequency range".  This type of high-frequency hearing loss is very common and can be further compounded by the effects of age-related hearing loss. 

Hearing loss is commonly an insidious, or slow progressing condition, which many individuals are completely unaware of. In many cases, family members and friends are the first people to notice and recognize these changes.

However, if you find yourself:

- Often asking others to repeat themselves
- Experiencing difficulty following along with conversations 
- Thinking that others are always mumbling
- Struggling in noisy environments such as restaurants or in large gatherings
- Not hearing female or children's voices
- Turning up the television volume or car radio

Perhaps it is time to visit a licensed audiologist.  Audiologists are highly-trained medical professionals who can provide you with the right information about your hearing.  If necessary, audiologists can offer prescriptions and recommendations for hearing solutions that will suit both your lifestyle and hearing needs.  

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