Patients with diabetes are more than twice as likely as those without the disease to have hearing loss, according to a recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) study. The study revealed that more than 40 percent of people with diabetes had some degree of hearing loss.
For many years, physicians have advised that patients with diabetes have regular eyesight check- ups. This important study shows that there is a need for physicians to encourage patients to have hearing tests as well as eyesight tests as both vision and hearing loss are associated with diabetes.In 2011, a Japanese research team also found that hearing problems were far more common in diabetics than those who were not diabetic. The study took into account 8,800 people with a degree of hearing loss and 23,839 without any hearing loss. Of those in the first category, over 1000 of 8,800 had diabetes while, in the latter category, less than 2,500 of 23,839 had diabetes. Neither of the studies above were able to help researchers understand why hearing loss and diabetes might be interlinked but outlined that there is a key link between each. The recommendations following the study concluded that diabetic patients should be screened for hearing loss at a young age to ensure prevention of other health issues.
There are ways of reducing your risk of developing diabetes and, therefore, diabetes related hearing loss. Having a steady control over blood sugar levels can be difficult whether dealing with type 1 or type 2 diabetes; but is important nonetheless. The nerves in the inner ears may get damaged due to lack of oxygen and blood being supplied due to high bloody sugar levels. Keeping blood sugar under control is important to prevent damage being done to your inner ear – keeping your hearing sharper for longer.