Hearing Loss and Diabetes

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A good way to protect your hearing is to protect the overall health of your whole body. This means healthy eating and healthy exercise. 

Diabetes can affect your health in a number of detrimental ways, but you may not be aware of how it can affect your hearing.

Hearing loss is twice as common in people with uncontrolled type 1 or 2 diabetes, and that figure is 14% worse in diabetic women. While research is still continuing, studies have shown that there is a clear connection between hearing loss and diabetes in people as young as 30 years of age. 

At present, the exact relation between diabetes and how it can affect hearing is not known. It’s theorised that glucose levels in the blood could cause damage to the tiny blood vessels of the inner ear, in a similar fashion to how diabetic nerve damage can affect the hands and feet, and other organs such as the eyes and kidneys. Our hearing mechanisms rely on specialised “hair cells”, which are very fragile and susceptible to changes in the environment, including the effect of increased glucose in blood.

The symptoms of hearing damage, whether via diabetes or other means, can be slow to reveal themselves. But as always, prevention is better than cure, and the best way to maintain healthy hearing is by doing everything you can to ensure a healthy you, inside and out. 

  • Maintain good control of your sugar intake
  • Take prescribed medication, where necessary
  • Eat a healthy diet of controlled portions
  • Stay active and exercise regularly
  • Keep your weight in check
  • Get your hearing checked regularly

Diabetes related hearing damage is a complication which few people would think to consider, but one which can be lessened by getting diabetes under control, or ensuring that you don’t become susceptible to diabetes if you have a family history.