The team studied the results of 13 studies involving nearly 8,800 people with hearing impairment and 23,839 people without impaired hearing.
Of those with hearing problems, they found more than 1,000 had diabetes, compared to just under 2,500 of those with normal hearing, indicating that diabetic patients are 2.3 times more likely to suffer from mild hearing loss.
What is behind the link?
According to Diabetes.co.uk, it is unknown exactly why hearing loss is more common among people with diabetes, although autopsy studies of diabetes patients suggest this association is caused by neuropathy (nerve damage), which is a common complication of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
“Researchers believe prolonged high blood glucose levels may lead to hearing loss by affecting the supply of blood or oxygen to the tiny nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear,” explains the health body.
It adds: “Over time, the nerves and blood vessels become damaged, affecting the person’s ability to hear.”
How to address it
If your hearing loss is the result of diabetes and high blood sugar levels, treatment will in part focus on lowering your blood sugar levels.
There are two key components to stabilising blood sugar levels.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet that avoids food and drink that sends your blood sugar levels soaring is integral.
Following the general principles of a healthy diet, such as plenty of fruit and veg and cutting back on sugary culprits should suffice.
One key caveat is to cut down on carbohydrates.
Carbohydrate is broken down into blood sugar relatively quickly and therefore has a more pronounced effect on blood sugar levels than either fat or protein.
The other key component is to regularly engage in moderate-intensity exercise.
The NHS says to aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise a week.