How Diabetes Increases Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You may be familiar with the various aspects contributing to hearing loss, including the impact of aging, genetic predisposition within families, or prolonged exposure to loud noises. However, you might find it intriguing to discover the connection between diabetes and hearing loss. Allow us to elaborate.

How is your risk of developing hearing loss increased by diabetes?

As per the CDC, 9% or 37 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, and this prevalence increases with age. And if you have diabetes, you’re two times as likely to experience hearing loss. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% increased risk of developing hearing loss than people whose blood sugar is normal.

A variety of 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 disrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both scenarios can contribute to hearing loss.

Damage to the kidneys, heart, nerves, eyes, and blood vessels can be caused by persistent high blood pressure due to uncontrolled diabetes.

Signs you might be dealing with hearing loss

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

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

  • Always having to turn the volume up on your devices and TV
  • Having a difficult time hearing in noisy places
  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Difficulty hearing on the phone
  • Perceiving others as mumbling

It’s essential to call us for a consultation if you observe any of these signs or if somebody points out your hearing changes. After performing a hearing screening, we will establish a baseline for future visits and help you with any issues you may 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 your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

Steer clear of 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.