Comparison of Otoacoustic Emissions in Asymptomatic Diabetes Mellitus and Normal Hearing Control Groups

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Suwimol Ruencharoen
Chanchai Jariengprasert
Montip Tiensuwan
Chardpraorn Ngarmukos


Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disorder. Previous studies reported the hearing impairment of diabetes patients as a progressive bilateral symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) of gradual onset which predominantly affected the higher frequencies, and found that diabetic patients had unsatisfactory hearing thresholds than nondiabetics in the same age group. For the use of evoked otoacoustic emissions (EOAEs) as a clinical test of hearing, EOAEs are sound which can be recorded in the outer ear canal and give objective information about preneural, mechanical elements of the cochlear function.

Objective: To compare the otoacoustic emissions of asymptomatic DM patients with a normal hearing control group.

Methods: All subjects received a routine audiologic evaluation which consisted of pure-tone air-bone conduction tests, tympanograms, and stapedius acoustic reflex tests. OAEs were measured in 30 asymptomatic diabetic patients with a mean age of 55.73 years and an age-matched 30 subjects normal hearing control group with a mean age of 50.87 years.

Results: The pure-tone thresholds at 3, 4, 6, and 8 kHz; transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) amplitudes at 1, 1.5, 2, and 3 kHz; and the distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) amplitudes at 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, and 6 kHz were significantly different (P < .05) between the asymptomatic and control groups.

Conclusions: This study suggested that diabetic patients had a significant hearing impairment. SNHL is gradually progressive and is a common condition in DM patients and their thresholds for hearing are higher at higher frequencies.

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How to Cite
Ruencharoen, S., Jariengprasert, C., Tiensuwan, M., & Ngarmukos, C. (2019). Comparison of Otoacoustic Emissions in Asymptomatic Diabetes Mellitus and Normal Hearing Control Groups. Ramathibodi Medical Journal, 42(2), 12 - 20.
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