Your Risk of Hearing Loss is Increased by Diabetes

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

Genetic predisposition, aging, and extended exposure to loud sound are all familiar factors that can contribute to hearing loss. But the connection between hearing loss and diabetes is not as well known. Let’s dig a little bit deeper into that.

How does diabetes increase your risk of hearing loss?

The prevalence of diabetes increases as you get older, and 37 million individuals, or 9% of the United States population, have this condition according to the CDC. And if you’re dealing with diabetes, you’re twice as likely to develop hearing loss. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% higher risk of experiencing hearing loss than people whose blood sugar is normal.

Diabetes can cause nerve damage across a variety of bodily regions, including the hands, feet, eyes, kidneys, and ears. Elevated blood sugar levels can cause the deterioration of small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ears. Conversely, low blood sugar levels can disrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both situations 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.

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

If you’re not actively monitoring the condition of your hearing, hearing loss can slowly sneak up on you. In many instances, friends and co-workers might detect the issue before you become aware of it.

Some suggestive signs of hearing loss include:

  • Keeping the TV volume at a high level
  • Struggling in loud restaurants
  • Constantly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Trouble following phone conversations
  • Perceiving others as mumbling

It’s important to contact us for a consultation if you experience any of these signs or if somebody points out your hearing changes. After performing a hearing test, we will set up a baseline for future visits and help you with any problems you might be having with balance.

If you have diabetes, be proactive

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

Maintain control of your blood sugar levels.

Utilize ear protection and avoid 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.