Your Risk of Hearing Loss is Increased by Diabetes

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

Genetic predisposition, aging, and prolonged exposure to loud sound are all familiar factors that can contribute to hearing loss. But the connection between hearing loss and diabetes isn’t as widely known. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.

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

As per the CDC, 9% or 37 million individuals in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, and this prevalence rises with age. And if you’re dealing with diabetes, you’re two times as likely to develop hearing loss. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% higher risk of developing hearing loss than people whose blood sugar is normal.

Diabetes can result in nerve damage across a variety of bodily areas, including the hands, feet, eyes, kidneys, and ears. High blood sugar levels can cause the deterioration of small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ears. In contrast, 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 persistent high blood pressure resulting from uncontrolled diabetes.

Signs you might have hearing loss

If you aren’t actively monitoring the condition of your hearing, hearing loss can gradually sneak up on you. In many instances, friends and colleagues might notice the problem before you identify it.

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

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

If you encounter any of these difficulties or if someone points out changes in your hearing, it’s important to consult with us. After performing a hearing screening, we will set up a baseline for future visits and help you with any problems you might be having with balance.

If you have diabetes, be proactive

Getting an annual hearing exam is important, and that’s particularly true for someone with diabetes.

Maintain control of your blood sugar levels.

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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