Your Risk of Hearing Loss is Raised by Diabetes

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You might be familiar with the various factors contributing to hearing loss, like the impact of getting older, genetic predisposition within families, or extended exposure to loud noises. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes isn’t as well known. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.

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

The prevalence of diabetes increases as you get older, and 37 million people, 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 individuals without 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.

Various body regions can be affected by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. Elevated blood sugar levels can cause the deterioration of small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ears. And on the other end of the spectrum, the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear can be disrupted by low blood sugar. Worsened hearing loss can be the outcome of both scenarios.

The lack of diabetes management induces chronic 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. It’s not uncommon for people close to you to notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.

Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:

  • Feeling as if people are mumbling when they speak
  • Having a difficult time hearing in noisy places
  • Keeping the TV volume at a high level
  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Difficulty following phone conversations

It’s important to call us for a consultation if you experience any of these signs or if somebody points out your hearing changes. After carrying out a hearing examination, we will set up a baseline for future visits and help you with any issues you might be having with balance.

If you have diabetes, be proactive

Getting a yearly hearing test is important, and that’s particularly true for someone with diabetes.

Keep control of your blood sugar levels.

Utilize ear protection and avoid overly loud situations.

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.