How Diabetes and Heart Health Affect Hearing Health

Did you know that health issues like heart disease and diabetes, amongst other conditions, can be linked to higher rates of hearing loss? More and more evidence revealing the link seems to be gathered and publicized everyday. So what do we know about the effect of overall health and its impact on hearing?

Basically hypertension, elevated blood sugars, and heart disease can all interfere with the normal, healthy blood flow to the fine structures of the inner ear. Lack of proper blood flow to the ear can impact hair cell integrity by damaging blood vessels and causing hair cell death or damage, and ultimately hearing loss. Therefore, hearing loss is believed to be a strong indicator of cardiovascular health.

One study conducted in 2008 showed that hearing loss was approximately twice as common in people with diabetes, and about 30% more common in people with higher than normal glucose levels, considered to be “pre-diabetes”. To read more information about the evidence, check out these entries from Starkey Hearing in their Health and Wellness Blog:

Diabetes: A Risk Factor for Hearing Loss
Heart Health. Hearing Health

Tania Gora MSc, R.Aud, Aud(C)
Registered Audiologist