Diabetes and hearing loss are strongly connected. In fact, in Australia, individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to have a hearing impairment compared with those without the condition, especially among younger persons (Diabetes Australia, 2021).
Although the exact mechanisms that contribute to this association are not fully understood, several studies suggest that overtime, high blood sugar levels and poor blood flow associated with diabetes can damage the delicate blood vessels and nerves found in the inner ear, leading to hearing loss.
It’s important to note that not everyone with diabetes will experience hearing loss, and the severity of hearing loss can vary. However, those with diabetes should be aware of the potential connection and understand that effectively managing the condition is crucial in reducing the risk of complications.
Diabetes management includes adopting a healthy lifestyle to maintain healthy blood sugar levels through proper medication, diet, and lifestyle choices. Additionally, having a comprehensive hearing assessment at first diagnosis, followed by annual hearing checks to monitor hearing thresholds is essential as early detection and intervention can help manage hearing loss effectively.
If you have diabetes and are concerned about your hearing, it is recommended to consult with one of our hearing healthcare professionals for a comprehensive evaluation.