Listen up-Diabetes can affect hearing

By dietcherry Latest Reply 2011-05-13 18:41:57 -0500
Started 2011-05-12 23:14:43 -0500

Your ears arent deceiving you; if youve had trouble catching peoples words, your diabetes may be behind it. A study found that hearing loss is twice as common in diabetics. More than 40% of the diabetics in this study had hearing loss. Three simple factors explain the association:

1. Nerve damage. High blood sugar can damage the nerves that send signals to the ears; a poor signal can limit your hearing or understanding of speech.

2. Keratin. Diabetics may lack keratin, a protein that helps protect your ear canal. Too much or too little keratin can lead to hearing problems.

3. Tissue sensitivity. Diabetes might make your ear tissue overly sensitive.

So what can be done? While you might not be able to recover hearing loss, there are ways to treat it and prevent it from worsening.


* Take a quick test at
* Get a professional hearing test once a year
* Tell hearing professionals you are diabetic-its important for diagnosis
* Consider getting hearing aids sooner rather than later


* Think hearing loss is just a sign of aging
* Think youre too young! 52% of those with hearing loss are under 65!
* Ignore your familys concerns
* Be afraid of hearing aids; theyre smaller and more effective than ever

Remember hearing loss can be so gradual that the person affected is often the last to notice. So listen to your family and your doctors.

21 replies

ds_1128 2011-05-13 18:41:57 -0500 Report

WOW. I did not know that. I have had a constant ringing in my ears for a very long time. And I have asked my doctor about it, but the only thing he says is that he doesn't see anything wrong. Thanks for the advice, though. Will get it checked out.

edvel54 2011-05-13 13:04:03 -0500 Report

It is bad when someone is talking to you and you say "What" and still don't hear, so you smile and nod. They look at you funny. It has happened many times to me. I did think it was because of getting older.

Steam hammer
Steam hammer 2011-05-13 13:10:06 -0500 Report

I have infection in my left ear the Dr. said I have swimmers ear and then the infection went to my right ear. I don't know if this has to do with my diabetes but I would like to know, I haven't heard anything about diabetes affecting you hearing.

oldbuttercup 2011-05-13 12:32:23 -0500 Report

I took the hearing loss test suggested in this link and I didn't do so well.
The first doctor that mentioned to me years ago that I had minor hearing loss at that time said it was do to the fact I was married. Ha Ha very funny.
Well guess what it isn't that funny, my hearing loss is getting worse now, and I'm only 53.
Well as Harlen mentioned I can do less and less as time goes by.
Soon I'll be singing " I can't smile with out you, I can't laugh and I can't sing, I'm finding it hard to do anything"
Sorry I broke out in song there a minute.
That I can still do now.
But who knows for how long?
Who knows?
The shadow knows!

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-05-13 13:25:43 -0500 Report

Thank you for the musical interlude. Life should include more of them.

oldbuttercup 2011-05-13 13:37:43 -0500 Report

Life coud be a dream sweetheart, sh-boom, sh-boom, ya da ya da , da, da,da da.
I've sways loved singing from way back when.
Thanks for listening!
PS if you like my singing in the great words of Al Jolson ( one of my favorite singers) "You aint heard nothing yet!"

oldbuttercup 2011-05-13 14:07:20 -0500 Report

One of his best. I am fortunate enough to have Al Joson records and the record player to play them on (much to the dismay of my children, because I am sooo old fashioned!).
If I had to pick a fovorite song by him it would be "The Anniversay Song".
PS he never really had a bad recording.

oldbuttercup 2011-05-13 14:33:40 -0500 Report

Blue skies smiling at me nothing but blue skies do I see.
Thank you, thank you very much for such wonderful memories.

Harlen 2011-05-13 06:58:31 -0500 Report

LOL just great cant see cant eat now cant hear whats next ????
What can you do but take care of your blood sugar and hope for the best
Best wishes All

dietcherry 2011-05-12 23:35:35 -0500 Report

Oops! I forgot to credit this to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Annals of Internal Medicine, June 2008

jayabee52 2011-05-12 23:30:05 -0500 Report

What did you say Renee? Eh? LoL!

I know I have hearing loss. Have had tintinitis (sp?) (constant ringing in my ears) since I was in my late teens. Too many hours on a weakly muffled tractor, and hearing too many shotgun blasts. all without adequate hearing protection!

I will follow the suggestions you make Renee. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

dietcherry 2011-05-12 23:33:29 -0500 Report

LOLOLOL I should have seen that one coming! ;)

jayabee52 2011-05-12 23:35:32 -0500 Report

maybe you need get your eyes checked too! LoL!