How Diabetes Raises Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You might be acquainted with the various factors contributing to hearing loss, including the impact of getting older, genetic predisposition within families, or prolonged exposure to loud noises. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes is not as well known. Allow us to elaborate.

How does diabetes increase your risk of hearing loss?

The prevalence of diabetes increases as you get older, and 37 million people, or 9% of the United States population, cope with this condition according to the CDC. Hearing loss is twice as prevalent in people with diabetes in comparison to people without the condition. Even in pre-diabetics, constituting 133 million Americans, the rate 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 accelerated by elevated blood sugar levels. In contrast, low blood sugar levels can interrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both scenarios can contribute to hearing loss.

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

Signs you might be dealing with hearing loss

If you aren’t actively monitoring the state of your hearing, hearing loss can gradually sneak up on you. It’s not uncommon for people around you to notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.

Some suggestive signs of hearing loss include:

  • Struggling in noisy restaurants
  • Constantly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Keeping the TV volume really loud
  • Difficulty hearing on the phone
  • Feeling as if people are mumbling when they talk

It’s essential to contact us for a consultation if you observe any of these signs or if someone points out your hearing changes. After carrying out a hearing exam, we will establish a baseline for future visits and help you with any issues you might be having with balance.

Be proactive if your managing diabetes

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

Maintain your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

Make use of 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.