Diabetes mellitus affects millions of people in the United States, and its prevalence is continuing to rise. Neuropathy and retinopathy are two well-known complications from diabetes that can greatly impact balance and lead to an increased risk for falls due to damage to the visual and proprioceptive systems. However, recent research has identified an additional complication from diabetes- an impaired vestibular system.
According to an article by D’Silva et al., structural and physiological changes, as well as, clinical evidence of vestibular dysfunction have been identified in individuals with diabetes. According to the authors of this article, a “comprehensive evaluation of the vestibular system may be necessary in people who have diabetes and balance impairment.” They go on to suggest that “interventions that address all 3 sensory input systems (visual, vestibular, and somatosensory) may be essential for reducing the risk of falls.”
Source: D'silva, L. J., Lin, J., Staecker, H., Whitney, S. L., & Kluding, P. M. (2015). Impact of Diabetic Complications on Balance and Falls: Contribution of the Vestibular System. Physical Therapy, 96(3), 400-409. doi:10.2522/ptj.20140604
The Hearing & Balance Center of Austin specializes in hearing related disorders including tinnitus and hearing loss, neurophysiological disorders as well as dizziness/balance disorders. Currently accepting new adult and pediatric audiology patients. The Hearing & Balance Center of Austin is the hearing and balance division of Great Hills ENT and serves the greater Austin area including the Arboretum, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, hearing aids, tinnitus, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders