The National Institutes of Health recently held a study that included 5,140 adult individuals between the ages of 20 and 69. Nearly 1 out of every 10 participants was diabetic. The study showed a link between diabetes patients and hearing issues, with 21 percent suffering from hearing loss at low and mid-range frequencies, compared to only 9 percent of non-diabetic participants. In addition, 54 percent of the diabetics had difficulty with high frequency sounds, as opposed to 32 percent of non-diabetics.
The study took age-related hearing loss into consideration, and it included a variety of ethnic backgrounds, education levels and socio-economic classifications.
Consequently, experts now believe that diabetes is a definite factor in hearing loss—a long neglected consideration. Diabetes will often damage inner ear nerves and blood vessels, so researchers recommend patients with diabetes also receive more regular hearing screens.