How Diabetes Raises Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You may be acquainted with the numerous factors contributing to hearing loss, like the impact of getting older, genetic predisposition within families, or prolonged exposure to loud noises. 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. And if you have diabetes, you’re twice as likely to develop hearing loss. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% increased risk of developing hearing loss than individuals whose blood sugar is normal.

Diabetes can cause nerve damage across a variety of bodily regions, including the hands, feet, eyes, kidneys, and ears. High blood sugar levels can lead to the deterioration of small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ears. In contrast, low blood sugar levels can disrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Worsened hearing loss can be the result of both scenarios.

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

Signs you may be dealing with hearing loss

Hearing loss often occurs gradually and can go unnoticed if you’re not actively paying attention. It’s not unusual for people around you to notice your hearing loss before you notice it.

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

  • Constantly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Keeping the TV volume really loud
  • Difficulty following phone conversations
  • Feeling like people are mumbling when they talk
  • Having a hard time hearing in noisy places

If you experience any of these difficulties or if somebody points out changes in your hearing, it’s important to consult with us. After carrying out a hearing test, we will establish 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 anybody who has diabetes to get a yearly hearing test.

Keep control of your blood sugar levels.

Make use of ear protection and avoid 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.