Can Diabetes Cause Hearing Loss?

March 17, 2021
couple hugging - can diabetes cause hearing loss
Published on  Updated on  

Generally hearing loss is defined as having trouble understanding what people are saying in a hushed voice, and missing some words at a regular volume.

There is increasing concern amongst researchers that point to hearing loss being twice as common in people who have Diabetes. The National Institute of Health in the USA reported that a test on 400 people with Diabetes showed a level of hearing loss in more than half of them. This result is considerably higher than expected from people who do not have Diabetes.

The Impact of Diabetes on Hearing Loss

Researchers suggest that high blood-glucose levels may lead to hearing loss by damaging the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear over time. Autopsy studies of Diabetes patients have shown evidence of such damage although clinical evidence is not yet compelling. Therefore, if you suffer from Diabetes it is important to have your hearing tested at regular intervals to identify any potential hearing loss as early as possible.

The impact of Hearing Loss that is ignored can be serious and incur a wide range of conditions ranging from depression, poor memory and a reducing ability to learn new tasks. A study conducted at the John Hopkins and National Institute on Aging found that older people with Hearing Loss are more likely to develop Dementia than those who retain their hearing.

If you have any of the following signs of hearing loss you should arrange to have a hearing test with a qualified professional:

  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Trouble following conversations that involve more than two people
  • Thinking that others are mumbling
  • Problems hearing in noisy places such as busy restaurants
  • Trouble hearing the voices of women and small children
  • Turning up the TV or radio volume too loud for others who are nearby
  • Today’s modern hearing device technology provides many solutions to all types of hearing loss to enhance well-being and quality of life

You should visit your Audiologist if you are concerned that your diabetes is causing your hearing loss.

Dr. George Panayiotou, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA

Clinical Audiologist

Published on  Updated on