How Diabetes Raises Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You might be familiar with the various factors contributing to hearing loss, including the impact of getting older, genetic predisposition within families, or extended exposure to loud sounds. However, you may find it interesting to discover the link between diabetes and hearing loss. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.

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

As per the CDC, 9% or 37 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, and this prevalence increases with age. Hearing loss is twice as prevalent in individuals with diabetes in comparison to individuals who don’t have the condition. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% increased risk of developing hearing loss than people whose blood sugar is normal.

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 accelerated by high blood sugar levels. Conversely, low blood sugar levels can interrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Worsened hearing loss can be the outcome of both scenarios.

The lack of diabetes management causes chronic high blood pressure, leading to damage to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, nerves, and eyes.

You might have hearing loss if you notice any of these signs

If you’re not actively monitoring the state of your hearing, hearing loss can gradually sneak up on you. In many situations, friends and co-workers might detect the problem before you identify it.

Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:

  • Perceiving others as mumbling
  • Having a tough time hearing in noisy places
  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Trouble hearing on the phone
  • Always needing to turn up the volume of your devices and TV

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

Be proactive if you have diabetes

We encourage anyone who has diabetes to get a yearly hearing check.

Keep your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

Use ear protection and avoid 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.


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