Your Risk of Hearing Loss is Increased by Diabetes

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You might be acquainted with the numerous factors contributing to hearing loss, such as the impact of getting older, genetic predisposition within families, or prolonged exposure to loud noises. But the connection between hearing loss and diabetes isn’t as widely known. Allow us to elaborate.

How does diabetes increase your risk of hearing loss?

As per the CDC, 9% or 37 million individuals in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, and this prevalence rises with age. Hearing loss is two times as prevalent in individuals with diabetes compared to individuals without the condition. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% higher risk of developing hearing loss than individuals whose blood sugar is normal.

Diabetes can result in nerve damage across a variety of bodily regions, including the hands, feet, eyes, kidneys, and ears. Elevated blood sugar levels can cause the degeneration of small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ears. Conversely, low blood sugar levels can interrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both scenarios can worsen hearing loss.

The lack of diabetes management causes chronic high blood pressure, causing damage to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, nerves, and eyes.

Signs you may have hearing loss

If you aren’t actively monitoring the state of your hearing, hearing loss can gradually sneak up on you. In many situations, friends and co-workers may notice the problem before you identify it.

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

  • Difficulty following phone conversations
  • Struggling in loud restaurants
  • Always needing to crank the volume up on your devices and TV
  • Regularly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Feeling as if people are mumbling when they talk

If you encounter any of these challenges or if somebody points out changes in your hearing, it’s worthwhile to consult with us. After doing a hearing screening, we will establish a baseline for future visits and help you with any issues you may be having with balance.

If you have diabetes, be proactive

Getting an annual hearing test is important, and that’s especially true for someone who has diabetes.

Maintain control of your blood sugar levels.

Steer clear of loud noises and safeguard your ears by wearing 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.