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Background: Diabetes mellitus has been a cause of many a health ailment. The relationships between inner ear manifestations, hearing loss (HL), tinnitus and vertigo as well as diabetes are not established.
Objective: To assess prevalence of HL, tinnitus and vertigo among diabetic patients in a typical Indian tertiary care hospital in a cross-sectional study.
Methods: 240 patients were categorized according to their age (< 60 years and > 60 years), gender, chronicity of diabetes mellitus (<10 years and >10 years), related complications (hypertension, nephropathy and retinopathy) and modalities of diabetic treatment taken by patients. Detailed examinations of their ears with an otoscope and the tuning fork test, including the pure tone audiometry were done in a sound proof room at frequencies of 500-8000 Hz.
Results: Ear manifestations were found among 240 diabetes patients: HL in 148 cases (61.67%), tinnitus in 70 cases (29.17%) and vertigo in 17 cases (7.08%). The association of age (p=0.21) and sex (p=0.58) with HL, tinnitus and vertigo were not statistically significant. Nevertheless, the duration of diabetes as well as the treatment modalities for it, in relation to these ailments were statistically significant (p=0.07) and (p=0.05), respectively.
Conclusion: HL, tinnitus and vertigo were better controlled by intake of insulin than oral hypoglycemic agents and diet regulation.
Keywords: Diabetes, hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo
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