How Diabetes Raises Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You may be acquainted with the various factors contributing to hearing loss, such as 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 raise your risk of hearing loss?

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 two times as prevalent in people with diabetes in comparison to those without the condition. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% increased risk of experiencing hearing loss than people whose blood sugar is normal.

Various body regions can be affected by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. The degeneration of the small blood vessels inside of your ears can be accelerated by high blood sugar levels. In contrast, low blood sugar levels can interrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Worsened hearing loss can be the result of both scenarios.

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

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. It’s not uncommon for people close to you to observe your hearing loss before you become aware of it.

Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:

  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Difficulty following phone conversations
  • Having a tough time hearing in noisy places
  • Perceiving others as mumbling
  • Keeping the TV volume really loud

It’s important to call us for a consultation if you notice any of these signs or if somebody points out your hearing changes. After doing a hearing exam, we will set up a baseline for future visits and help you with any problems you might be having with balance.

Be proactive if you have diabetes

Getting an annual hearing test is important, and that’s especially true for somebody who has diabetes.

Keep your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

Steer clear of loud noises and shield your ears by wearing 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.


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