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Revista Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia
Print version ISSN 0034-7299
MAIA, Clícia Adriana S. and CAMPOS, Carlos Alberto H. de. Diabetes mellitus as etiological factor of hearing loss. Rev. Bras. Otorrinolaringol. [online]. 2005, vol.71, n.2, pp. 208-214. ISSN 0034-7299. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-72992005000200015.
Patients with diabetes mellitus often show symptoms such as dizziness, tinnitus, and hearing impairment. In general, hearing loss is sensorineural, which is sometimes confused with presbycusis, mainly because it develops in patients older than 40 years of age. Angiopathy and neuropathy caused by diabetes mellitus have been considered important factors for the vestibular-cochlear disorders found in these patients. However, there is controversy regarding the etiopathogenesis of hearing loss, as some researchers support that it develops due to neuropathy, others say it is due to angiopathy, or even a combination of both. Yet, some researchers believe diabetes mellitus and hearing loss are part of a genetic syndrome. We have conducted an extensive bibliographic review to determine whether there is cause-effect relationship between diabetes mellitus and hearing loss. We were able to verify that, despite the large number of studies performed, there is still a great deal of controversy, and new approaches are being studied, for example in the field of genetics, which shows that new paths can be followed to reach a conclusion on this issue.
Keywords : hearing loss; diabetic angiopathy; diabetes mellitus; retinopathy; neuropathy.