How Diabetes Raises Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

Genetic predisposition, aging, and prolonged exposure to loud noise are all common factors that can contribute to hearing loss. However, you might find it interesting to understand the connection between diabetes and hearing loss. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.

How is your risk of developing 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 rises with age. And if you’re dealing with diabetes, you’re twice as likely to develop 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.

A variety of body regions can be impacted by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. The degeneration of the small blood vessels inside of your ears can be increased by elevated blood sugar levels. In contrast, low blood sugar levels can disrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both scenarios can contribute to hearing loss.

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

Signs you might have hearing loss

If you aren’t actively monitoring the state of your hearing, hearing loss can slowly sneak up on you. It’s not unusual for people close to you to observe your hearing loss before you become aware of it.

Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:

  • Always having to crank the volume up on your devices and TV
  • Struggling in loud restaurants
  • Difficulty following phone conversations
  • Perceiving others as mumbling
  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves

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

Be proactive if you have diabetes

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

Keep control of your blood sugar levels.

Use ear protection and steer clear of overly loud situations.

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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