Background and Objectives: Discussion is open about the relationship between diabetes (DM) and hearing loss (HL). There is a lot of evidence in the literature suggesting a causal link between these conditions, beyond being considered simple comorbidities. The difficulty in identifying populations free from confounding factors makes it difficult to reach definitive conclusions on the pathophysiological mechanisms at play. Nonetheless, there is numerous evidence that demonstrates how the population affected by DM is more affected by sensorineural HL (SNHL) and exhibit a higher prevalence of idiopathic sudden sensorineural HL (ISSNHL). Materials and Methods: Articles reporting potentially relevant information were reviewed, and the most significant results are discussed in this article. Starting from the possible mechanisms relating to auditory impairment in the diabetic condition, this article summarizes the studies on auditory evaluation in subjects with DM1 and DM2 and addresses the relationship between DM and ISSNHL. Results: DM is considered a risk factor for SNHL, although some studies have reported no relationship when the associations were adjusted for age, gender, and hypertension. Macro and microvascular insults that cause decreased blood flow, oxygen exchange, and ion transport are major complications of hypertension and DM and can have a direct effect on the sensory and support cells of the cochlea. Conclusions: Given the difficulty of carrying out studies on populations without confounding factors, new laboratory studies are strongly required to clarify which specific physiopathological mechanisms underlie the diabetic damage caused to the hearing organs and how pharmacological management may contribute to counteracting the pathophysiological effects of the diabetic condition on the auditory system.
Diabetes Mellitus and Hearing Loss: A Complex Relationship / Gioacchini, Federico Maria; Pisani, Davide; Viola, Pasquale; Astorina, Alessia; Scarpa, Alfonso; Libonati, Fernanda Asprella; Tulli, Michele; Re, Massimo; Chiarella, Giuseppe. - In: MEDICINA. - ISSN 1010-660X. - STAMPA. - 59:2(2023), p. 269. [10.3390/medicina59020269]