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 familiar factors that can contribute to hearing loss. However, you may find it interesting to discover the link between diabetes and hearing impairment. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.

How is your risk of experiencing hearing loss raised by diabetes?

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. And if you’re dealing with diabetes, you’re two times as likely to develop hearing loss. Even in pre-diabetics, constituting 133 million Americans, the rate of hearing loss is 30% higher than in people with normal blood sugar levels.

A variety of body areas can be affected by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. High 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 situations can contribute to hearing loss.

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

You might have hearing loss if you detect any of these signs

Hearing loss often occurs slowly and can go unnoticed if you aren’t actively paying attention. In many cases, friends and colleagues may observe the issue before you identify it.

Some suggestive signs of hearing loss include:

  • Always needing to turn up the volume of your devices and TV
  • Feeling like people are mumbling when they talk
  • Regularly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Trouble following phone conversations
  • Struggling in loud restaurants

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

If you have diabetes, be proactive

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

Maintain 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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