How Diabetes Raises Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You might be familiar with the various factors contributing to hearing loss, such as the impact of aging, genetic predisposition within families, or extended exposure to loud noises. However, you may find it interesting to understand the connection between diabetes and hearing loss. Allow us to elaborate.

How does diabetes raise your risk of hearing loss?

As per the CDC, 9% or 37 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, and this prevalence rises with age. Hearing loss is twice as prevalent in individuals with diabetes compared to individuals who don’t have the condition. 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.

Various body areas can be impacted 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. 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 situations.

The lack of diabetes management triggers chronic high blood pressure, causing damage to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, nerves, and eyes.

Signs you may be dealing with hearing loss

Hearing loss frequently occurs gradually and can go undetected if you’re not actively paying attention. In many instances, friends and colleagues may notice the issue before you identify it.

Some suggestive signs of hearing loss include:

  • Having a tough time hearing in noisy places
  • Perceiving others as mumbling
  • Difficulty following phone conversations
  • Regularly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Always needing to crank the volume up on your devices and TV

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

If you have diabetes, be proactive

We encourage anybody who has diabetes to get an annual hearing check.

Keep control of your blood sugar levels.

Avoid loud noises and protect 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.

Questions? Talk To Us.