Hearing Loss and Diabetes

An Epidemic

Diabetes is the epidemic of the 21st century and the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system. It is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia, increasing at a faster rate than other chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. All types of diabetes are increasing in prevalence.

  • Type 1 diabetes accounts for 10% of all diabetes and is increasing
  • Type 2 diabetes accounts for 85% of all diabetes and is increasing
  • Gestational diabetes in pregnancy is increasing.

Did you know there is a strong link between diabetes and hearing impairment?

hearing loss and diabetes

Recent Findings

Recent studies (Eg. Pemmiah & Srinivas) have shown that progressive hearing loss is a complication of type II diabetes mellitus. The hearing loss pattern was found to be similar to age related hearing loss, seen mainly in higher pitches, making speech seem unclear.

There is a positive correlation  between the duration of diabetes and glycemic control (HbA1C) and hearing loss. This stresses the importance of early detection and treatment of diabetes, including strict glycemic control in order to prevent hearing impairment.

Other studies (Eg Austin, et. al.) have shown that diabetes is associated with an increased risk of hearing loss, again, highlighting the importance of regular hearing checks if you are diabetic.

man taking diabetes blood test

What Should You Do?

There are numerous new studies supporting the correlation between diabetes and hearing impairment. It is highly beneficial to have an audiology assessment included in your individual care plan if you have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. At Knox Audiology, we recommend that for individuals with type I or type II diabetes, you have your hearing checked at least annually to monitor for any changes.

If you haven’t already done so, call into Knox Audiology today for a comprehensive diagnostic hearing test.