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What’s the connection between hearing loss and diabetes?

Posted on Apr 4, 2016

Living with a serious health condition such as diabetes can mean that you may have to make several adjustments to your daily life in order to ensure you remain in good health. According to Diabetes Australia, there are some 1.7 million people living with the glucose condition across the country1

Like diabetes, hearing loss affects more people than many would expect, with the Australian Network on Disability placing the estimate at around one in six Australians2. However, some research suggests there is a link to be found between the two conditions. Here's what you should know. 

Diabetes and hearing loss – What's the connection? 

While there is no proof yet of diabetes causing hearing loss, there is certainly a link between them. A study by the National Institutes of Health found hearing loss to occur twice as frequently in people with diabetes compared to those without the blood sugar condition3

"Hearing loss may be an under-recognised complication of diabetes. As diabetes becomes more common, the disease may become a more significant contributor to hearing loss," said Dr Catherine Cowie, senior author of the study3.

"Our study found a strong and consistent link between hearing impairment and diabetes using a number of different outcomes."3

A possible explanation for this trend could be something to do with damage inflicted upon blood vessels in the inner ear, as noted by the American Diabetes Association4, although research is still ongoing to pinpoint the exact reason. 

If you have diabetes, it can be a good idea to keep on top of your hearing. You can click here or call 1300 308 125 to request a no cost* appointment with your local HEARINGLife clinic today.

1Diabetes Australia, Diabetes in Australia. Accessed March, 2016.

2AND, Stats and Facts. Accessed March, 2016.

3NIH, Hearing Loss Is Common in People with Diabetes. Accessed March, 2016.

4American Diabetes Association, Diabetes and Hearing Loss. Accessed March, 2016.

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