Your Risk of Hearing Loss is Increased by Diabetes

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

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

How is your risk of experiencing hearing loss increased by diabetes?

The prevalence of diabetes increases as you get older, and 37 million people, or 9% of the United States population, have this condition according to the CDC. And if you have diabetes, you’re twice as likely to develop hearing loss. 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.

A variety of body areas can be impacted by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. Elevated blood sugar levels can cause the deterioration of small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ears. In contrast, low blood sugar levels can interrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Worsened hearing loss can be the outcome of both situations.

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

Signs you may be dealing with hearing loss

If you aren’t actively monitoring the condition of your hearing, hearing loss can slowly sneak up on you. In many cases, friends and co-workers might detect the issue before you identify it.

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

  • Having a difficult time hearing in noisy places
  • Feeling as if people are mumbling when they talk
  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Keeping the TV volume really loud
  • Trouble following phone conversations

If you experience any of these difficulties or if someone points out changes in your hearing, it’s important to consult with us. We will perform 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

Getting a yearly hearing test is important, and that’s especially true for somebody who has diabetes.

Keep your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

Steer clear of loud noises and shield your ears by using 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.

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