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Question:

From New York, USA:

I have had IDDM for 26 years. My question is about hearing.

I have a significant hearing loss in my right ear. My ENT doctor didn't feel it was diabetes related. Could it be? If diabetes damages nerves, as in neuropathy, could it also damage nerves that affect hearing? They did an MRI to rule out an acoustic neuroma, and there was none. The only answer I got was, "You're losing your hearing, and we don't know why." Frustrating to say the least. Now not only do I worry about going blind, but also being deaf. What a great combination for a diabetic!

Answer:

Deafness is not associated with diabetic neuropathy. There is a very rare congenital syndrome where diabetes and deafness are combined. It is very unlikely that you have this because the deafness would have appeared sooner and in both ears. It is possible that you have some involvement of the blood vessels to the eighth nerve since you have had diabetes for many years; it would help to ask your ENT doctor whether your deafness is a nerve or a middle ear problem.

DO'B

Original posting 10 Oct 96

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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