HEARING LOSS & DIABETES
According to a recent Study by the National Institutes of Health, Hearing Loss is twice as common among adults who have Diabetes compared to those who do not.
Twenty–one percent of the diabetics surveyed had hearing loss, compared to only 9 percent of non-diabetics. The diabetics tested (68%) had hearing loss in the high frequencies.
Studies have shown that adults with pre-diabetes whose blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis have a 30% higher rate of hearing loss compared to those with normal blood sugar.
Physical changes occur in the cochlea and acoustic nerve as a result of diabetes. There is a thickening of the walls in the cochlea with a loss of the hair cells. The acoustic nerve (8th Nerve), which is responsible for auditory processing, can experience deterioration in the sheath (covering) of the nerve. Patients have decreased hearing and decreased clarity in the recognition of words.
Dr. Martinetti, believes that all people that are pre-diabetic and those with diabetes should be having a baseline hearing evaluation and annual follow-up. Most primary care physicians are not aware of the strong link between diabetes and hearing loss. Ask your doctor about hearing loss and diabetes and call Dr. Martinetti to schedule you hearing evaluation.