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Question:

From Santa Barbara, California, USA:

My daughter is eight and has had Type 1 diabetes since 3 and a half. She is also hearing impaired, and wears a hearing aid. The problem is not one that can be fixed by surgery and they can't tell me how bad it will get. I have heard there is a diabetes that also brings deafness. I am adopted and have only found that my biological grandfather and great grandfather both had Type 2 diabetes.

Answer:

Besides the DIDMOAD (Wolfram syndrome) syndrome, characterised by diabetes insipidus, diabetes mellitus, optic atrophy and deafness and probably due to a mitocondrial dysfunction, the association between diabetes and hearing loss has been investigated since a long time ago and it is still matter of controversy. Several investigators have indicated a prevalence of hearing impairment up to 93% in diabetic patients though, as bilateral sensorineural hearing loss predominantly affecting the high-frequency area with a gradual onset and progression. In patients with diabetic neuropathy the damage also involves the middle range of the frequencies. Anyhow, according to my clinical experience, it is not a common feature of the disease, expecially in kids or young adults.

MS

Original posting 21 Nov 1998
Posted to DIDMOAD

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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