A Link Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

  • December 14, 2018
A Link Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

There has always been a debate over the relationship between hearing loss and diabetes. Research has currently concluded that hearing loss is more prevalent among adults who live with diabetes.

According to a research study, the data collected involved participants ranging in age 20 to 69 years old. The important information they found included:

  • People with diabetes were twice as likely to have hearing loss than those without it.
  • Pre-diabetic individuals are 30% more likely to experience hearing loss.

Similar studies reflected these results and shed light towards the continued mysterious connection between the link of hearing loss and diabetes.

How is diabetes a risk factor towards hearing loss?

Unfortunately, the blunt answer to this question is that the exact connection is unknown. A few researchers believe diabetes damages the bodies hearing nerves. High blood sugars can damage nerves in the body, known as diabetic neuropathy, which most commonly occurs in a person’s feet and legs. Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy range from pain and numbness in the legs and feet, to problems with the digestive system and heart. Researchers believe this same damage is happening to the hearing nerve.

There is another theory that high blood sugars may cause damage to the very small blood vessels that supports and feeds the inner ear. The common denominator in both theories is high blood sugar in the body.

What can diabetics do to protect against hearing loss?

The more an individual can control their blood sugar, the less likely it will affect their hearing. Following a strict medication and diet treatment plan is crucial for protecting the hearing of individuals with diabetes.

Another important variable is that a person’s hearing loss adversely affects their social life, increasing isolation and depression. Diabetics who are isolated and depressed may struggle more in sticking to their healthy regimen, creating a vicious circle.

Taking control of your hearing

Even if you don’t think you have hearing loss, it is advisable if you have diabetes to get a baseline measurement of your hearing loss as soon as you can. Every 6-month screenings are highly recommended. Just like an eye test, your ears should be regarded just as important.

To schedule an appointment near you visit our website. Be sure to visit our blog again soon for more hearing health related science, news, and lifestyle tips.