Objectives:To study the prevalence and degree of hearing loss, its distribution in different frequencies and its risk factors in children with type I Diabetes Mellitus (DM).
Methods: Sixty two children with type I DM were compared with 62 age & sex matched children without DM, for hearing assessment using pure tone audiometry. Both air and bone conduction were tested between 250-8000 Hz and 250 - 4000 Hz respectively .Risk factors for hearing loss such as age, gender, diabetic age, insulin requirement, age at onset, glycemic control and its other complications were analyzed.
Results: Prevalence of hearing loss was 20 % in diabetic children. Hearing acuity was lower in all frequencies, and was significantly low in mid and high frequencies. Duration of diabetes and glycemic control were found to be the significant risk factors for hearing loss. Threshold for hearing was much higher in diabetic children without hearing loss in comparison to non diabetic children. The estimated mean diabetic age to develop hearing loss was five years.
Conclusion: Hearing loss is more common in diabetic children predominantly in mid and high frequencies and is associated with the duration of diabetes and degree of Glycemic control.