Diabetes and Hearing Loss

5 Facts You Need to Know

  1. There is a proven link between diabetes and hearing loss in adults over the age of 60.  For diabetic patients over the age of 60, the prevalence of high frequency hearing loss rose to 54%, compared to 32% of non-diabetic adults of similar age.
  2. Diabetic patients should have their hearing screened when identified with diabetes.  earlier identification of hearing loss often leads to more successful remediation strategies and better patient outcomes.
  3. Diabetic patients may have a progressive hearing loss.  It is possible that diabetic patients can have normal or nearly normal hearing at the time of the initial identification of diabetes, only to suffer from a progressive form of sensorineural hearing loss.  This is why diabetic patients should have their hearing screened annually.
  4. Hearing loss of adult onset often contributes to social isolation, cognitive loss and depression.  Studies show that adults with mild to moderate-severe hearing loss are more likely to suffer the effects of social isolation and withdrawal, including depression, cognitive deficits.
  5. Auditory rehabilitation, including hearing aids may help.  A peer-reviewed study conducted by the National Council on Aging of over 2000 participants with hearing loss provides evidence of the benefits of hearing aids, including improved overall health, better interpersonal relationships and a reduction in frustration, anxiety and depression.
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