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 understand the connection between diabetes and hearing loss. Allow us to elaborate.

How is your risk of developing 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 people without the condition. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% increased risk of experiencing hearing loss than people whose blood sugar is normal.

A variety of body regions 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. 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 outcome of both scenarios.

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

Signs you might be dealing with hearing loss

Hearing loss frequently occurs slowly and can go unnoticed if you aren’t actively paying attention. It’s not unusual for people close to you to notice your hearing loss before you notice it.

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

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

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

Be proactive if you have diabetes

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

Maintain control of your blood sugar levels.

Avoid loud noises and safeguard your ears by wearing earplugs.

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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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