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Diabetes and Hearing Loss

Nearly 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 90 to 95 percent of those people have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form and is diagnosed when the body has high levels of blood glucose and low insulin production.

Over 34 million people in the United States suffer from some sort of hearing loss. Recent studies have shown that hearing loss in people is twice as common if they have diabetes.

Precise reasons as to why diabetes and hearing loss are related are yet to be found, but doctors say it is possible that high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels and nerves in the inner ear. Of the 86 million adults who have prediabetes, whose blood glucose is higher than normal but not enough for a diagnosis, have a 30 percent higher risk of suffering from hearing loss.

When blood sugar levels are not well-maintained, the risk of developing hearing loss can increase. Complications can cause damage to the auditory nerves in the ear, which can lead to serious issues. This is why it is so crucial to manage the disease.

Signs of Hearing Loss

  • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
  • Having to listen to the radio or TV louder than a normal level
  • Trouble following conversations involving several people
  • Thinking that people are mumbling, or speaking quietly
  • Issues hearing in noisy places like restaurants

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with diabetes and is suffering from hearing loss, you should consult a physician. To get tested for hearing loss, or speak with a doctor, contact Shea Clinic at 901-761-9720.

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