Question: How is Diabetes linked to hearing loss?
Answer: Changes caused by diabetes can injure tiny arteries and nerves in the inner ear resulting in permanent damage and hearing loss of 25 dB or more. Nearly 10% of the US population has diabetes, a condition which has been associated with impact to the eyes, kidneys, arteries and nerves in the arms and legs. These artery/nerve impairments can have direct impact on the auditory system as well.
On average, studies confirm that patients with diabetes have significantly more hearing loss for all frequencies than non-diabetic patients. Overall, the studies indicate that diabetic patients were 28% more likely to experience a hearing loss of mild or greater severity. High frequency hearing loss is the strongest pattern of hearing loss seen with diabetes.