How Diabetes Increases Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You might be acquainted with the numerous factors contributing to hearing loss, including the impact of aging, genetic predisposition within families, or extended exposure to loud noises. But the connection between hearing loss and diabetes is not as widely known. Allow us to elaborate.

How does diabetes raise 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 in comparison to people who don’t have the condition. 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 areas can be impacted by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. Elevated blood sugar levels can cause 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 situations can worsen hearing loss.

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

You may have hearing loss if you detect 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 cases, friends and co-workers might detect the problem before you become aware of it.

Some suggestive signs of hearing loss include:

  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Having a difficult time hearing in loud places
  • Trouble hearing on the phone
  • Feeling like people are mumbling when they talk
  • Keeping the TV volume at a high level

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

Be proactive if your navigating diabetes

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

Maintain control of your blood sugar levels.

Avoid loud noises and safeguard 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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