How Diabetes Raises Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

Genetic predisposition, aging, and prolonged exposure to loud sound are all familiar factors that can contribute to hearing loss. However, you may find it interesting to discover the connection between diabetes and hearing loss. Let us elaborate.

How is your risk of experiencing hearing loss increased 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. Hearing loss is two times as prevalent in individuals with diabetes compared to people who don’t have the condition. Even in pre-diabetics, constituting 133 million Americans, the degree of hearing loss is 30% higher than in people with normal blood sugar levels.

Various body areas can be affected 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. 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 triggers chronic high blood pressure, causing damage to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, nerves, and eyes.

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

If you’re not actively monitoring the condition of your hearing, hearing loss can gradually sneak up on you. In many cases, friends and colleagues might notice the issue before you become aware of it.

Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:

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

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

Be proactive if you have diabetes

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

Keep your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

Use ear protection and steer clear of overly loud settings.

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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