Tinnitus and Diabetes: Here's How They're Connected

Tinnitus is a common condition affecting around 50 million adults in the U.S. It's defined as a "ringing in the ears" that can lead to difficulty concentrating and sleeping. There really is no clear explanation on what causes tinnitus. Many cases can be attributed to prolonged exposure to loud sound or as a side effect of head/ear trauma and hearing loss. A variety of other factors, however, can lead to tinnitus – including diabetes.

Blood Sugar and the Ears

Many people who suffer from tinnitus also have elevated blood sugar levels. A study from the Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology discovered that 87.7 percent of its participants with the peripheral vestibular disorder (dysfunction of the inner ear) had elevated blood sugar levels and impaired insulin metabolism.

As a diabetic, keeping healthy eating habits can help you prevent acquiring tinnitus or at least alleviate the intensity of it. Limiting alcoholic beverage consumption and avoiding foods high in sugar help maintain the “balance” of the ears.

Other Treatments for Tinnitus

Unfortunately, there typically is no cure for tinnitus. There are, however, a few ways to try and make this condition as livable as possible.

  1. Some ear departments have special tinnitus clinics – which offer counseling, sound therapy techniques and advice on living with tinnitus.
  2. As tinnitus is the most noticeable in quiet environments, it can cause distress when trying to fall asleep. Playing a radio or stereo at bedtime can help mask the tinnitus before you drift off to sleep. There are also specially designed pillows that have speakers inside of them – it could end up being a wise investment.
  3. Having tinnitus can lead to stress and anxiety. Combating this by talking with a doctor or therapist, or making conscious lifestyle changes can ease your troubles.

Sources: PatientUK, Livestrong
Photo: Pexels

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