Your Risk of Hearing Loss is Increased by Diabetes

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You might be familiar with the various aspects contributing to hearing loss, like the impact of aging, genetic predisposition within families, or extended exposure to loud sounds. However, you may find it interesting to understand the link between diabetes and hearing loss. Let’s dig a little bit deeper into that.

How is your risk of experiencing hearing loss increased by diabetes?

The prevalence of diabetes increases as you get older, and 37 million individuals, or 9% of the United States population, have this condition according to the CDC. Hearing loss is two times as prevalent in individuals with diabetes in comparison to people without the condition. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% higher risk of experiencing hearing loss than people whose blood sugar is normal.

Various body regions can be affected by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. The deterioration of the small blood vessels inside of your ears can be accelerated by high blood sugar levels. Conversely, low blood sugar levels can interrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Worsened hearing loss can be the result of both situations.

Damage to the kidneys, heart, nerves, eyes, and blood vessels can be caused by persistent high blood pressure resulting from uncontrolled diabetes.

You might have hearing loss if you notice any of these signs

Hearing loss often occurs gradually and can go unnoticed if you’re not actively paying attention. It’s not uncommon for people around you to observe your hearing loss before you notice it.

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

  • Keeping the TV volume at a high level
  • Struggling in loud restaurants
  • Constantly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Perceiving others as mumbling
  • Difficulty following phone conversations

If you encounter any of these difficulties or if someone points out changes in your hearing, it’s important to consult with us. We will perform a hearing exam that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also address any balance-related challenges.

If you have diabetes, be proactive

Getting an annual hearing test is important, and that’s especially true for somebody with diabetes.

Keep control of your blood sugar levels.

Steer clear of loud noises and safeguard your ears by using earplugs.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.