Your Risk of Hearing Loss is Raised by Diabetes

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

Genetic predisposition, aging, and extended exposure to loud noise are all common factors that can contribute to hearing loss. However, you may find it intriguing to discover the link between diabetes and hearing loss. Let us elaborate.

How does diabetes raise 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 increases with age. Hearing loss is two times as prevalent in people with diabetes compared to people 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.

Various body regions can be affected by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. High blood sugar levels can cause the degeneration of small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ears. In contrast, low blood sugar levels can interrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both scenarios can worsen hearing loss.

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

Signs you might have hearing loss

Hearing loss frequently happens slowly and can go unnoticed if you aren’t actively paying attention. In many cases, friends and colleagues might notice the problem before you become aware of it.

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

  • Perceiving others as mumbling
  • Having a tough time hearing in noisy places
  • Difficulty following phone conversations
  • Keeping the TV volume at a high level
  • Constantly needing people to repeat what they said

It’s important to call us for a consultation if you notice any of these signs or if someone points out your hearing changes. We will carry out a hearing exam that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also deal with any balance-related concerns.

If you have diabetes, be proactive

Getting a yearly hearing test is important, and that’s particularly true for somebody who has diabetes.

Keep control of your blood sugar levels.

Use 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.