Diabetics now face a greater risk of hearing loss

Nupur Jha
diabetes, hearing loss, ears, health,

In the last decade, the number of diabetics in India has grown rapidly; there are more than 65.1 million diabetics in the country. In 2010, there were 50.8 million diabetics.

According to research conducted by the International Diabetes Federation, poor control of blood sugar, high blood pressure and blood lipids, can cause blockages in blood vessels within the inner ear, leading to a loss of hearing.

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The sudden rise in the number of diabetics is due to erratic food timings, lack of sleep, unhealthy lifestyle, physical inactivity, obesity, etc. Such changes in lifestyle lead to insulin resistance, wherein the body does not use insulin properly.

"Around 13% to 15% of diabetics that are under my treatment face hearing loss. Especially those who have crossed 45years of age and have uncontrolled sugar levels," said Dr Abhay Vispute, Diabetologist, SRV Hospital, in Mumbai, India.

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Dr Vispute further explained that this particular hearing loss starts with an itch and one may hear unusual sounds, which eventually leads to a complete loss of hearing. The microvascular blood supply is poor in diabetics causing faster degenerative changes in the inner ear.

This may cause low or high frequency sounds in either one of the ears. If echoing sounds can be heard in either ear, for a diabetic, this is a symptom of hearing loss.

The only solution after you are impaired is to use hearing aids.

If you're a diabetic, it is advisable to check your ears regularly and conduct an audiogram once every two or three years. Loss of hearing is very subjective, even those who are non-diabetic can develop this, but the risks are higher among diabetics.