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 familiar factors that can contribute to hearing loss. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes isn’t as well known. Allow us to elaborate.

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

The prevalence of diabetes increases as you get older, and 37 million individuals, or 9% of the United States population, cope with this condition according to the CDC. Hearing loss is twice as prevalent in individuals 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 people whose blood sugar is normal.

A variety of body areas can be impacted by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. High blood sugar levels can lead to the degeneration of small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ears. And on the other end of the spectrum, the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear can be disrupted by low blood sugar. Worsened hearing loss can be the result of both scenarios.

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

Signs you may be dealing with hearing loss

If you’re not actively monitoring the condition of your hearing, hearing loss can gradually sneak up on you. It’s not uncommon for people close to you to observe your hearing loss before you become aware of it.

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Trouble hearing on the phone
  • Feeling like people are mumbling when they talk
  • Having a hard time hearing in noisy places
  • Always having to turn the volume up on your devices and TV

If you notice any of these difficulties or if somebody points out changes in your hearing, it’s important to consult with us. We will perform a hearing exam that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also address any balance-related concerns.

Be proactive if you have diabetes

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