Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

Genetic predisposition, aging, and extended exposure to loud noise are all common factors that can contribute to hearing loss. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes isn’t as well known. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.

How does diabetes increase your risk of hearing loss?

The prevalence of diabetes increases as you get older, and 37 million people, or 9% of the United States population, cope with this condition according to the CDC. Hearing loss is two times as prevalent in individuals with diabetes compared to those 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 individuals whose blood sugar is normal.

Diabetes can cause nerve damage across a variety of bodily areas, including the hands, feet, eyes, kidneys, and ears. The degeneration of the small blood vessels inside of your ears can be accelerated by high blood sugar levels. In contrast, low blood sugar levels can disrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both situations can worsen hearing loss.

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

Signs you might be dealing with hearing loss

Hearing loss frequently develops slowly and can go undetected if you aren’t actively paying attention. In many instances, friends and co-workers may observe the problem before you identify it.

Some suggestive signs of hearing loss include:

  • Keeping the TV volume really loud
  • Trouble following phone conversations
  • Perceiving others as mumbling
  • Struggling in noisy restaurants
  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves

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 test, we will establish a baseline for future visits and help you with any issues you might be having with balance.

Be proactive if your navigating diabetes

Getting a yearly hearing exam is important, and that’s especially true for somebody with diabetes.

Maintain control of your blood sugar levels.

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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