Your Risk of Hearing Loss is Raised by Diabetes

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

Genetic predisposition, aging, and prolonged exposure to loud noise are all familiar factors that can contribute to hearing loss. But the connection between hearing loss and diabetes isn’t as well known. Let’s dig a little bit 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 rises with age. And if you’re dealing with diabetes, you’re two times as likely to experience hearing loss. 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. Elevated blood sugar levels can lead to the deterioration of small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ears. Conversely, low blood sugar levels can interrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both scenarios can worsen hearing loss.

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

You may have hearing loss if you notice any of these signs

If you aren’t actively monitoring the condition of your hearing, hearing loss can slowly sneak up on you. In many situations, friends and colleagues may observe the problem before you identify it.

Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:

  • Keeping the TV volume at a high level
  • Having a tough time hearing in noisy places
  • Regularly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Feeling as if people are mumbling when they talk
  • Trouble following phone conversations

If you notice any of these challenges or if somebody points out changes in your hearing, it’s worthwhile to consult with us. After doing a hearing examination, we will set up a baseline for future visits and help you with any problems you might be having with balance.

If you have diabetes, be proactive

We encourage all individuals with diabetes to get a yearly hearing test.

Maintain control of your blood sugar levels.

Avoid loud noises and shield 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.

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