HEARING LOSS IS COMMON IN PEOPLE WITH DIABETES

About 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, a disease characterized by high blood sugar levels. Between 90 and 95% of people with diabetes have type 2, which can develop at any age.* 

From a review of studies analysing hearing loss and diabetes between 1974 and 2013, researchers concluded that people with diabetes were twice as likely to have hearing loss than people without diabetes. However, these researchers did note several limitations, such as the data being based on observational studies. In a study of US adults, researchers discovered a higher rate of hearing loss was found in adults with diabetes.**

Hearing loss is a common problem caused by aging, disease, heredity, and noise. 17% of American adults report some degree of hearing loss.

There is a strong relationship between age and reported hearing loss: 8% of American adults 18 to 44 years old, 19% of adults 45 to 64 years old, and 30% of adults 65 to 74 years old report trouble with hearing.*

IF YOU HAVE DIABETES; HOW CAN HEARING LOSS BE PREVENTED?

You can’t reverse hearing loss, but you can treat it. If you have diabetes, you should have your hearing checked each year. Follow these tips to help protect your ears.****

  • Follow your medication plan.
  • Closely monitor your blood sugar levels.
  • Reduce hypertension.
  • Manage your weight.
  • Exercise daily if you can.
  • Get your hearing checked every year.
  • Avoid other causes of hearing loss, including loud noises.
  • Ask your doctor whether any medicines you’re taking can damage your hearing and what other options are available.

Over time, blood sugar levels that are too high or too low can damage nerves that affect your hearing.*

Visit the American Diabetes Association to learn more about hearing loss and diabetes and how you can prevent hearing loss.

Hearing loss happens for many reasons. You probably know that it can happen as you age or if you spend too much time around loud noises. You may not know that having diabetes puts you at risk for hearing loss. Managing your blood sugar is a critical part of your diabetes care, it can also help protect your hearing.*

USEFUL LINKS & RESOURCES

LINK: DIABETES & HEARING LOSS

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

LINK: DIABETES & HEARING LOSS

American Diabetes Association

FACT SHEET: TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR DIABETES: HEALTHY EARS

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

ARTICLE: HEARING LOSS AND TYPE 2 DIABETES: IS THERE A LINK?

C.L. Morrison et al. / Practical Diabetes (2014) 31(9): 366–369

ARTICLE: EPIDEMIOLOGY OF DIABETES AND HEARING LOSS

Baiduc, F.H., & Helzner, E.P. / Seminars in Hearing (2019) 40(4): 281-291

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