Your Risk of Hearing Loss is Increased by Diabetes

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

Genetic predisposition, aging, and extended exposure to loud noise are all common factors that can contribute to hearing loss. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes isn’t as well known. Let’s dig a little bit deeper into that.

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

As per the CDC, 9% or 37 million individuals in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, and this prevalence increases with age. Hearing loss is two times as prevalent in individuals with diabetes compared to people who don’t have the condition. Even in pre-diabetics, constituting 133 million Americans, the degree of hearing loss is 30% higher than in people with normal blood sugar levels.

A variety of 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 increased by elevated blood sugar levels. Conversely, low blood sugar levels can disrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both situations can worsen hearing loss.

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

Signs you may be dealing with hearing loss

If you’re not actively monitoring the state of your hearing, hearing loss can slowly sneak up on you. In many situations, friends and colleagues may detect the problem before you become aware of it.

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

  • Difficulty hearing on the phone
  • Constantly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Keeping the TV volume at a high level
  • Having a tough time hearing in loud places
  • Perceiving others as mumbling

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

Be proactive if you have diabetes

We encourage anybody with diabetes to get an annual hearing test.

Keep control of your blood sugar levels.

Avoid loud noises and protect your ears by using 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.