The link between diabetes and hearing loss.
A new article in The Hearing Review highlights why researchers agree that hearing healthcare and medical professionals need to band together in the fight to manage and control diabetes.
Like diabetes, hearing loss is very prevalent. About 15% of American adults (37.5 million) report trouble hearing and the incidence increases with age. Nearly 25% of those ages 65 to 74 and 50% of those who are 75 and older have disabling hearing loss.2 There is a great deal of overlap between the two groups.3 According to the American Diabetes Association, hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes as it is in those who don’t have the disease. Additionally, US patients with prediabetes blood glucose levels have been found to have a rate of hearing loss that is 30% higher than in those with normal blood glucose levels.4
Yet, despite this overlap, there are currently no special clinical guidelines for how audiologists should approach treating these patients, and audiologists are not included in the CDC’s PPOD (Pharmacy, Podiatry, Optometry, and Dentistry) effort to recruit more providers in educating patients with diabetes about their condition and initiating appropriate referrals when necessary.