Is there a link between diabetes and hearing loss?

Man Trouble Hearing Image

Scientists have studied the link between hearing loss and diabetes for years, but the results have been inconsistent. Investigators recently analyzed data from 13 studies and found that overall, men and women with diabetes were more than twice as likely as people in the general population to develop hearing loss.

While it's not entirely clear what diabetes has to do with hearing loss, scientists note that the cochlea—the auditory portion of the inner ear—is full of tiny blood vessels that are susceptible over time to the damaging effects of high blood glucose.

Ask your doctor for a hearing evaluation if you are unable to hear someone speaking in a soft voice or if you can't make out all the words in ordinary conversation.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 02 Feb 2014

Last Modified: 11 Sep 2015