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Diabetes and Hearing Loss

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The connection between diabetes and hearing loss has long been questioned. However, research has concluded that hearing loss is more prevalent in adults with diabetes.

Although it is not known precisely how diabetes is a risk factor for hearing loss, research has shown that people with diabetes were twice as likely to have hearing loss, than people without.

There are a few theories as to how diabetes can affect your vision.

  • Some researchers believe that diabetes can damage the hearing nerves. High blood sugars can lead to diabetic neuropathy, a condition that damages the nerves throughout your body. Diabetic neuropathy most often occurs in your legs and feet causing pain and numbness. Researchers think the same damage happens to the hearing nerves, causing hearing loss.
  • A second theory is that high blood sugar could damage the small blood vessels in the inner ear. As this system becomes damaged, hearing is compromised.

How can hearing loss be protected?

As with other diabetic conditions, best method of protection is controlling your blood sugar levels. Following your treatment and medication plans is critical to the protection of your hearing and other vital organs.

It is known that when hearing decreases, cases of social isolation and depression increase. It is possible that in these cases, people with diabetes may struggle with managing their blood sugar levels. It is important to recognise the symptoms of hearing loss, social isolation, and depression.

Much like with your vision, hearing can remain stable for many years before changing over a short period of time. If you notice any changes in your hearing it is important to get your hearing assessed.

At The Ear Place we can provide hearing assessments as well as a wide range of hearing aids to suit your needs.


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