How Diabetes Increases Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You may be familiar with the various factors contributing to hearing loss, like the impact of getting older, genetic predisposition within families, or prolonged exposure to loud noises. But the connection between hearing loss and diabetes is not as widely known. Let’s dig a little bit deeper into that.

How does diabetes increase your risk of hearing loss?

As per the CDC, 9% or 37 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, and this prevalence increases with age. Hearing loss is two times as prevalent in individuals with diabetes in comparison to individuals who don’t have the condition. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% increased risk of experiencing hearing loss than people whose blood sugar is normal.

Diabetes can cause nerve damage across a variety of bodily areas, 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. Worsened hearing loss can be the outcome of both scenarios.

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

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

If you aren’t actively monitoring the state of your hearing, hearing loss can slowly sneak up on you. In many instances, friends and co-workers may detect the issue before you become aware of it.

Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:

  • Perceiving others as mumbling
  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Difficulty hearing on the phone
  • Keeping the TV volume at a high level
  • Having a difficult time hearing in loud places

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

If you have diabetes, be proactive

We encourage anybody who has diabetes to get a yearly hearing check.

Maintain your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

Avoid loud noises and shield 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.

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