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Today I would like to continue talking about our health by addressing the very
important health issue of diabetes. One aspect of diabetes, often overlooked is
its silent partner, hearing loss.
Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes than those without.
The data suggests that diabetics may experience hearing loss at an
earlier age. Diabetics between the ages of of 40 and 69 years have a 67%
incidence of high frequency hearing loss.
The most likely cause of hearing loss is poor blood flow to the cochlea or
auditory pathways in the brain. Researchers believe that over time, high blood
glucose levels can damage the small blood vessels and nerves of the auditory
system causing hearing loss. Poor blood flow also causes eye and
kidney problems, often associated with diabetes.
It is strongly recommended that all diabetics have their hearing tested
annually, along with their vision. Earlier diagnosis of hearing loss can lead to
earlier intervention, improving patients’ communication, safety and overall
quality of life.