Diabetes sufferers were today urged to have hearing tests after it emerged people with the condition are twice as likely to suffer deafness.
Dr Nina Byrnes warned hearing checks are not yet an established part of regular care for more than 200,000 Irish people living with diabetes.
The GP, a medical liaison officer with healthcare provider Hidden Hearing, said diabetes sufferers have a serious risk of losing their hearing.
"It is vital that people living with diabetes are aware of diabetes-related hearing loss so they take action to better preserve both their hearing health and quality of life," she said.
"While diabetic patients receive regular vision check-ups, having their hearing checked is also essential, given the increased risks."
To mark World Diabetes Day, Hidden Hearing free hearing screening checks will be given at its 60 branches and the firm's mobile hearing clinic which will visit Clare, Longford, Leitrim and Cavan throughout the week.