According to a study conducted by an epidemiologist at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, those with diabetes are twice as likely to have some form of hearing loss when compared to those who are not diabetic. Individuals with poorly controlled diabetes were twice as likely to have a more significant degree of hearing loss than those who monitored and controlled their diabetes.
The most widely accepted theory behind this connection has to do with blood glucose level fluctuations. It’s possible that the high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes cause damage to the tiny blood vessels in the inner ear, similar to the way in which diabetes can damage the eyes and the kidneys. The inner ear damage can impact the ability to understand speech.
Further supporting the blood-glucose theory, statistics show that of the 86 million adults in the US who are pre-diabetic, there was a 30% higher rate of hearing loss compared with people with normal blood glucose levels.
Because of this compelling evidence connecting how strongly diabetes correlates with the presence and degree of hearing loss, it is important to include a regular hearing checkup as part of long-term diabetic management.
A hearing test followed by a discussion with our audiologists is an effective first step in treating communication difficulties and helping detect other underlying health conditions, such as diabetes.
Call us today at (317) 671-8000 to see how we can help you. We look forward to hearing from you!
 CDC. (2017, July 18). New CDC report: More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes. Retrieved January 27, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0718-diabetes-report.html
 Hearing Health Foundation. (n.d.). Hearing Loss & Tinnitus Statistics. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from https://hearinghealthfoundation.org/hearing-loss-tinnitus-statistics
 NIH. (2008). Hearing Loss Is Common in People with Diabetes. Retrieved January 27, 2021, from https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/hearing-loss-common-people-diabetes
 American Diabetes Association. Diabetes and Hearing Loss. Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-and-hearing-loss