Diabetes Mellitus and Tinnitus: an Epidemiology Study

Maedica (Bucur). 2021 Dec;16(4):580-584. doi: 10.26574/maedica.2021.16.4.580.


Objectives: Tinnitus is the perception of sound that does not arise from an external source. It is a chronic sensation that virtually all would prefer not to experience, but for most people it is not disabling and treatments for disturbing tinnitus are limited. Diabetes causes several side effects, among which its impact on the neural system is one of the most important ones. Considering that the hearing system is part of the neural system, this paper investigates the likelihood of tinnitus occurrence and its potential role of risk factor in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Methodology: This study was conducted on 250 patients from the diabetes center of Birjand, Iran. Data from all patients were collected in 2018, using a demographic questionnaire together with a standard questionnaire. Results:Sixty six of the 250 patients in the sample set had tinnitus (26% likelihood of tinnitus occurrence), with 53% of all subjects having minor disorder. A meaningful dependency between patient's age and severity of tinnitus (p <0.05) was found, with tinnitus-related problems becoming more severe among older patients. Also, a meaningful dependency was identified between the duration of diabetes and tinnitus, with the hearing disorder being more severe among patients who had diabetes for more than ten years. No meaningful dependency was found between either patient's gender and tinnitus or the level of fasting blood sugar (FBS) and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C). The severity of tinnitus was identified. Conclusion:The present study indicates that there is an association between the age of patients with diabetes and the severity of tinnitus. Also, the duration of diabetes impacts the likelihood of having tinnitus. In patients with diabetes, tinnitus can be considered as an indicator of the development of neuropathy or a level of microangiopathy of the inner ear.

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  • Editorial