Your Risk of Hearing Loss is Raised by Diabetes

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You might be familiar with the numerous aspects contributing to hearing loss, including the impact of aging, genetic predisposition within families, or prolonged exposure to loud sounds. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes is not as well known. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.

How does diabetes increase your risk of hearing loss?

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 people with diabetes compared to those who don’t have the condition. Even in pre-diabetics, constituting 133 million Americans, the degree of hearing loss is 30% higher than in individuals with normal blood sugar levels.

Various 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. Both scenarios can contribute to hearing loss.

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

Signs you might have hearing loss

Hearing loss frequently occurs slowly and can go unnoticed if you aren’t actively paying attention. In many instances, friends and co-workers may notice the issue before you become aware of it.

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

  • Difficulty hearing on the phone
  • Feeling as if people are mumbling when they talk
  • Regularly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Always having to crank the volume up on your devices and TV
  • Struggling in noisy establishments

If you experience any of these difficulties or if someone points out changes in your hearing, it’s worthwhile to consult with us. We will carry out a hearing exam that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also deal with any balance-related challenges.

Be proactive if you have diabetes

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

Maintain your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

Utilize ear protection and steer clear of overly loud settings.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Schedule an appointment to see if hearing aids could benefit you.