Your Risk of Hearing Loss is Raised by Diabetes

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

Genetic predisposition, aging, and prolonged exposure to loud noise are all familiar factors that can contribute to hearing loss. However, you may find it intriguing to understand the connection between diabetes and hearing impairment. Let’s dig a little 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, cope with this condition according to the CDC. Hearing loss is two times as prevalent in people with diabetes compared to people who don’t have the condition. Even in pre-diabetics, constituting 133 million Americans, the degree of hearing loss is 30% higher than in individuals with normal blood sugar levels.

Various body areas 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 increased by high blood sugar levels. Conversely, low blood sugar levels can interrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both situations can contribute to hearing loss.

Damage to the kidneys, heart, nerves, eyes, and blood vessels can be caused by chronic high blood pressure due to unchecked diabetes.

You may have hearing loss if you detect any of these signs

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

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Trouble hearing on the phone
  • Feeling as if people are mumbling when they talk
  • Always needing to turn up the volume of your devices and TV
  • Struggling in loud restaurants

It’s important to call us for a consultation if you observe any of these signs or if someone points out your hearing changes. We will perform a hearing test that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also address any balance-related challenges.

If you have diabetes, be proactive

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

Maintain control of your blood sugar levels.

Use ear protection and steer clear of overly loud settings.

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.