According to Diabetes Canada
, more than 11 million Canadians have prediabetes or diabetes. Organs, blood vessels and nerves – including those in the inner ear - can be damaged by the body’s inability to use or process insulin. Catherine Cowie, senior author of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study
on diabetes in the US, “Hearing loss may be an under-recognized complication of diabetes. As diabetes becomes more common, the disease may become a more significant contributor to hearing loss.”
Type 2 diabetes affects 90% of people with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually presents in adulthood. The NIH study found links between impaired hearing and diabetes from as early as 30 years of age. Among prediabetics - who may display no symptoms but risk developing diabetes in the next 10 years - the study showed a rate of hearing loss of up to 30% higher than people with normal blood sugar levels.
Specifically for women not treating diabetic symptoms means hearing can vary with blood-glucose levels. Dr. Derek J. Handzo
found that women between 60 and 75 who didn’t treat their diabetes had impaired hearing compared to non-diabetic women of the same age.