How Diabetes Increases Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

Genetic predisposition, aging, and prolonged exposure to loud sound are all common factors that can contribute to hearing loss. However, you may find it interesting to understand the link between diabetes and hearing loss. Let us elaborate.

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

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 two times as prevalent in individuals with diabetes in comparison to those who don’t have the condition. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% higher risk of experiencing hearing loss than individuals whose blood sugar is normal.

Diabetes can result in nerve damage across various bodily regions, including the hands, feet, eyes, kidneys, and ears. The degeneration of the small blood vessels inside of your ears can be increased by elevated blood sugar levels. And on the other end of the spectrum, the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear can be disrupted by low blood sugar. Both situations can contribute to hearing loss.

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

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

If you’re not actively monitoring the condition of your hearing, hearing loss can slowly sneak up on you. In many situations, friends and co-workers may observe the problem before you become aware of it.

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

  • Regularly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Feeling like people are mumbling when they talk
  • Always having to crank the volume up on your devices and TV
  • Struggling in loud establishments
  • Difficulty hearing on the phone

It’s important to contact us for a consultation if you observe any of these signs or if someone points out your hearing changes. After performing a hearing screening, we will set up a baseline for future visits and help you with any problems you might be having with balance.

Be proactive if your navigating diabetes

We encourage anybody with diabetes to get an annual hearing test.

Keep your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

Steer clear of loud noises and shield 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.