Does Diabetes Cause Hearing Loss?

Diabetes and hearing loss are two of the world’s most widespread health concerns.

Diabetes affects an estimated 10% of the adult population in the Western World. About 40% of these cases are undiagnosed.

About 16-17% of Americans and Europeans suffer from a partial or total inability to hear.

There is a strong relationship between age and hearing loss. For example, in America 8% of 18 to 44 years old, 19% of 45 to 64 years old, and 30% of 65 to 74 years old report trouble with their hearing.

What causes hearing loss?

Hearing loss develops when sound signals are unable to reach the brain. This may be due to one or both of the following causes:

[1] Sensorineural deafness

The inner part of the ear contains tiny hair cells (nerve endings) that change sounds into electric signals. The nerves then carry these signals to the brain.

Damage to the tiny hair cells, the nerve fibres in the inner ear, the auditory nerve that carries the sound signals to the brain (auditory nerve), or the brain itself can cause partial or full loss of hearing.

Known as sensorineural deafness, this kind of hearing loss is permanent.

[2] Conductive hearing impairment

Earwax, ear infections, a perforated ear drum or damage to the hearing bones can all prevent sounds from passing from your outer ear to your inner ear.

This conductive hearing impairment may be only a temporary problem.

Mixed hearing loss… it is possible for both of these problems to occur at the same time.

Hearing loss, of whatever sort, can be caused synapse xt by a variety of factors. These include:

  • Aging … getting progressively deaf as you grow older is a fact of life
  • Prolonged exposure to loud noises … noise is the cause of roughly half of all cases of hearing loss and responsible for some degree of hearing problems in 5% of the global population
  • Chemicals … certain chemicals (combined with loud noises) can increase a person’s hearing loss
  • Genes … impaired hearing can be inherited
  • Illness … measles, meningitis and mumps can all lead to some degree of hearing loss; so too can neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and stroke
  • Medicines … such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs and diuretics can cause irreversible ear damage, which is one reason why their use is limited
  • Physical trauma … people who sustain head injuries are especially vulnerable to hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears), either temporary or permanent

What are the signs of hearing loss?

Hearing loss can be so gradual that you may not notice it. In fact, your family or friends may notice a loss of hearing before you do.

You probably have impaired hearing if you:

  • Find it hard to hear other people clearly or feel that their voices sound mumbled or slurred
  • Have trouble following conversations that involve more than two people talking
  • Have problems hearing in noisy places such as busy pubs or restaurants or other places where there is background noise
  • Find it easier to understand men compared to women and children
  • Need to turn up the volume excessively when listening to music or watching TV
  • Find it difficult to hear your telephone, mobile, alarm clock or the door bell
  • Find that some sounds seem too loud.
  • Find it hard to tell high-pitched sounds (such as “s” or “th”) from one another.
  • Have a feeling of being off-balance or dizzy
  • Have a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears (tinnitus)

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