Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You might be familiar with the various aspects contributing to hearing loss, such as the impact of getting older, genetic predisposition within families, or extended exposure to loud sounds. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes isn’t as widely known. Allow us to 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 twice as prevalent in individuals with diabetes in comparison to those 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.

A variety of body areas can be affected by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. Elevated blood sugar levels can lead to the degeneration 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. 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 uncontrolled diabetes.

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

If you aren’t actively monitoring the state of your hearing, hearing loss can slowly sneak up on you. It’s not unusual for people around you to notice your hearing loss before you notice it.

Some suggestive signs of hearing loss include:

  • Having a difficult time hearing in loud places
  • Difficulty hearing on the phone
  • Feeling like people are mumbling when they speak
  • Constantly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Keeping the TV volume at a high level

It’s important to call us for a consultation if you experience any of these signs or if someone points out your hearing changes. We will conduct a hearing test that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also deal with any balance-related challenges.

If you have diabetes, be proactive

We encourage anyone who has diabetes to get a yearly hearing test.

Maintain your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

Use ear protection and avoid overly loud situations.

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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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