Skip to main content Accessibility help

Hearing loss in diabetics

  • J. R. Cullen (a1) and M. J. Cinnamond (a1)


The relationship between diabetes and senbsorineural hearing loss has been disputed. This study compares 44 insulin-dependent diabetics with 38 age and sex matched controls. All had pure tone and speech audiometry performed, with any diabetics showing sensorineural deafness undergoing stapedial reflecx decat tests. In 14 diabetics stapedial reflex tests showed no tone decay in any patient, but seven showed evidence of recruitment. Analysis of vaiance showed the diabetics to be significantly deafer than the control population.The hearing loss affected high frequencies in both sexes, but also low frequencies in the male. Speech discrimination scores showed no differences. Further analysis by sex showed the males to account for most of the differences. Analysys of the audiograms showered mostly a high tone loss. Finally duration of disbetes, insulin dosage and family history of diabtes were not found to have a significant effect on threshold.


Corresponding author

Mr J. R. Cullen, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Floor, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, BT9 7AB.


Hide All

This work was carried out at Tyrone County Hospital, Omagh.



Hide All
Axellson, A., Fargerberg, S. E. (1968) Auditory function in diabetics. Acta Otolaryngologica 66: 4964
Axellson, A., Sigroth, K., Vertes, D. (1978) Hearing in diabetics. Acta Otolaryngologia Supplement: 356.
Benesi, O.Somer, J. (1929) In Handbuch der Nurologie des ohres. vol. 2, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Borsuk, J.Lisiecha, H., Majcherska, B.(1956) THe audiometric curve in diabetes melliitus. Polish Archives of Medicine Warsaw 26: 11561166
Bruhi, G. (1912) Die Beteligung des ohres, der Nase und des Hoses bei Staffwechsel Krankheiten. Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift (Stuttgart) 38: 701.
Camisaca, L. (1950) L'esame dell'apparato cohleovestibulare neldiabete mellito. Giornale di Scintifico et Medica 5: 4549
Costa, O. A. (1967) Inner ear pathology in experimental diabetes. Laryngoscope 77: 6875
Davis, A. C. (1983) Hearing disorders in the population: First phase findings of the MRC National study of Hearing. In Hearing Science and Disorders. (Lutman, M. E., Haggard, M. P., eds.), Academic Press, London, p 3560.
Devald, J., Schiffener, G., Tolnay, S. (1966) Audiological examination of diabetic patients. Orvosi Hetilap 107: 24542456.
Dietzel, K. (1964) Diabetes und gehr. In Internazional Symposium ber Diabetes Fragen1–3 October 1962.Academie Verlag,Berlin.
Edgar, T. O. (1915) Klinische Beitrage zur Frage der akuten toxischen des Gehororganes bei Diabetes Mellitus mit besonderer Berucksichting der Erkrankungen des inneren Ohres. Monatschreibe Ohrenheilkund Laryngologie, Rhinologie 49: 225260.
Friedmann, S. A., Schulman, R. H.Weiss, S. (1975) Hearing and diabetic neuropathy. Archives of Internal Medicine 135: 573576
Gibbon, K. P.Davis, C. G. (1981) A hearing survey in diabetes melitus Clinical Otolaryngology 6: 345350
Jordao, A. M. D. (1857) Consideration sur un cas du diabete. Union Medicale du Paris 11: 446
Jorgensen, M. B.Buch, N. H. (1961) The inner ear in diabetes mellitus. Archives of Otolaryngology 74: 373381
Jorgensen, M. B., Buch, N. H. (1961) Studies on inner ear functions and cranial nerves in diabetics. Acta Otolaryngologica 53: 350364
Kindler, W. (1955) Schwewerhrigheit bei Diabetes Mellitus. Practica Otorhinolaryngology 17: 282288
Koslov, M. Y. K. (1975) Changes of the hearing level in patients with diabetes mellitus. Zhural Ushnykh Nosovykin i Gorolovykh Bolezni (Kiev) 1: 3236
Kovar, M. (1973) The inner ear in diabetes mellitus. Otorhinolarybgology 35, 4251.
Kurien, M., Thomas, K., Bhanu, T. S. (1989) Hearing theresholds in patients with diabetes mellitus. Journal of Laryngology and Otology 103: 164168
Makashima, K., Tanaka, K. (1971) Pathological changes of the inner ear and central auditory pathways in diabetics. Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology 80: 218288.
Marshak, G., Anderson, C. V. (1960) The inner ear in experimental mellitus. Journal of Auditory Research 8: 323330.
Naufal, P. M., Shuknecht, H. F. (1972) Vestibular, facial and oculomotor neuropathy in diabetes mellitus. Archives of Otolaryngology 96: 468.
Owens, E. (1964) Tone decay in VIIIth nerve and cochlear lesions. Journal of Speech and Hearing 29: 1422.
Roach, R. E. (1973) Response of the diabetic to Bekesy audiometry. Archives of Otolaryngology 98: 349353
Rosen, Z., Davis, E. (1971) Microangiopathy in diabetes with hearing disorder. Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Monthly 50: 479482
Rozen, Z., Yanko, L., Cohen, A. M. (1972) Diabetic labyrinthopathy and retinopathy. Israeli Journal of Medical Science 8: 781782
Sieger, A., White, N. H., Skinner, M. W., Spector, G. J. (1983) Auditory function in children with diabetes mellitus. Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology 92: 237241
Snashall, S. E. (1977) Békésy audiometry and tone and reflex decay tests in diabetes. Archives of Otolaryngology 103: 342343
Strauss, P., Schneider, K., Terriulo, V., Sachasse, B. (1982) Der Em-Buss des Diabetes Mellitus auf das Hororgan. Laryngology, Rhinology and Otology 61: 331338.
Taylor, I. G., Irwin, J. (1978) Some audiological aspects of diabete mellitus. Journal of Laryngology and Otology 92: 99113.
Wackym, P. A., Linthicum, F. H. (1986) Diabetes mellitus and hearing loss: clinical and histopathological relationship. American Journal of Otolaryngology 7: 176182
Zelenka, J., Kozak, P. (1965) Disorder in the blood supply of the inner ear as an early symptom of diabetic angiopathy. Journal of Larybgology and Otology 79: 313319


Hearing loss in diabetics

  • J. R. Cullen (a1) and M. J. Cinnamond (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed