Diabetes and hearing loss?


This is my first post. I’m really new to blogging. My husband has had diabetes for a number of years now, and my sister just sent me a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showing that people with diabetes face double the risk of hearing loss than those without it. (My sister’s husband has had Type 1 diabetes since he was 19.)

Anyway, does anyone know anything about this? I am an audiologist in West Newton, Massachusetts, and so if this really is a risk for people with diabetes, then I want to make sure that not only should my husband and brother-in-law get their hearing checked, but maybe there’s something that can be done to make sure that anyone with diabetes get their hearing checked too? What do you think?

I have never heard of this before…I know we are at risk for a lot of things but I am not sure about hearing issues. Curious to know…I will look into it. Thanks for the info

What didyou say??? I have never heard of it but does not supprise me. anything that has to do with blood vesal is in danger and I think that small blood vesals supple the eat to live? could be wrong. Maybe you can help me with this.

I had never heard of this either but what doesn’t diabetes affect? I think my brain is running slower than it ever did.

The best thing to do is to get your hearing tested – it only takes a half hour and is usually covered by your health insurance. Did you know that 2/3s of people with hearing loss are still in the workforce? And now with this latest study that was funded by the National Institutes of Health, it’s clear that if you have diabetes, it’s better to just get your hearing checked.

I hope that helps. Happy hearing!!!

Yours and mine both!

I’ll tell you though what I tell my patients who often say the same thing to me. Sometimes, if you have a hearing loss – even a mild one – you end up using so much cognitive energy to follow what people are saying, that it actually does make it harder to concentrate or remember things. Especially with the increased risk of hearing loss if you have diabetes, I hope you will take the time to get your hearing checked.
Good luck.

Hi there,

Actually, hypersensitivity to sound is a symptom of hearing loss. I know it’s counterintuitive but it’s because the nerve is damaged and it is therefore interpreting loudness abnormally. Your hearing may be perfectly normal but if your hearing is so sensitive that it is annoying to you then you are stating a symptom related to hearing loss. Please get it tested so you know what you’re dealing with.
Good luck.

Hi Andy,

Wow, you are right. Here’s what the lead researcher of the study about diabetes and hearing loss wrote on that very subject:

The link between diabetes and hearing loss has been debated since the 1960s or before, and our results show that a relationship exists even when we account for the major factors known to affect hearing, such as age, race, ethnicity, income level, noise exposure, and the use of certain medications," noted Kathleen Bainbridge, Ph.D., of Social & Scientific Systems, Inc. “Diabetes may lead to hearing loss by damaging the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear.” You can check out this press release issued by the National Institutes of Health on the study if you want to find more information. http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jun2008/niddk-16.htm