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 familiar factors that can contribute to hearing loss. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes is not as well known. Let’s dig a little bit 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. 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 regions can be affected by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. Elevated 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 interrupted 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 unchecked diabetes.

Signs you might have hearing loss

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

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

  • Having a hard time hearing in noisy places
  • Constantly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Difficulty hearing on the phone
  • Keeping the TV volume really loud
  • Feeling like people are mumbling when they speak

If you encounter 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 test that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also address any balance-related concerns.

Be proactive if your managing diabetes

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

Keep your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

Avoid loud noises and shield your ears by wearing earplugs.

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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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