Audiologist in Santa Cruz

Hearing Loss and Diabetes

February 06, 2019

The Hear-It website has an article titled “Alcohol Can Causes Hearing Loss” which is thought provoking (https://www.hear-it.org/Alcohol-can-cause-hearing-loss). Although many of us recognize the dangers of excessive drinking and of consequences of drunk driving, etc., how many of us realize that there are other side effects of alcohol such as hearing loss? 

The article states “Studies have shown that high alcohol consumption over a long period of time can result in damage to the central auditory cortex of the brain and may lead to brain shrinkage. Because the damage to the auditory nerves adds up, even moderate drinkers may risk nerve damage and hearing loss.”  High levels of alcohol in the bloodstream can produce a toxic environment for the delicate hair cells in the cochlea and damage hearing. Studies show that older subjects and very heavy drinkers were more affected than others. 

Another area of concern is for those diagnosed with diabetes.  At the Hear-It website, an article entitled “Diabetics Twice as Likely to Suffer Hearing Loss” was posted (https://www.hear-it.org/diabetics-twice-as-likely-to-suffer-hearing-loss).  It states: “A major national American study has confirmed the correlation between diabetes and hearing loss that several earlier minor isolated studies have pointed towards. The new study found that hearing loss is about twice as prevalent among diabetics as in the general population.” The study was carried out by the National Institutes of Health and supports that hearing loss is an under-recognized risk for diabetics. 

Due to the study results, researchers recommend and encourage routine hearing screening for diabetics. Do you know someone diagnosed with diabetes? Please encourage them to come to our office for a free hearing test and evaluation.  




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