How Diabetes Raises Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You may be acquainted with the various aspects contributing to hearing loss, like the impact of getting older, genetic predisposition within families, or extended 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 is your risk of developing hearing loss raised by diabetes?

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 two times as prevalent in people with diabetes in comparison to those 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 degeneration of the small blood vessels inside of your ears can be increased by high blood sugar levels. Conversely, low blood sugar levels can disrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Worsened hearing loss can be the outcome of both situations.

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

Signs you may have hearing loss

Hearing loss often occurs slowly and can go undetected if you aren’t actively paying attention. In many cases, friends and co-workers might notice the issue before you become aware of it.

Some suggestive signs of hearing loss include:

  • Always having to turn up the volume of your devices and TV
  • Difficulty hearing on the phone
  • Struggling in loud restaurants
  • Feeling as if people are mumbling when they talk
  • Constantly needing people to repeat what they said

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

If you have diabetes, be proactive

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

Keep control of your blood sugar levels.

Steer clear of loud noises and protect 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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