How Diabetes Increases Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You may be acquainted with the numerous factors contributing to hearing loss, such as the impact of aging, genetic predisposition within families, or extended exposure to loud noises. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes isn’t as widely known. Let’s dig a little bit deeper into that.

How does diabetes increase your risk of hearing loss?

As per the CDC, 9% or 37 million individuals in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, and this prevalence increases with age. Hearing loss is twice as prevalent in individuals with diabetes compared to those without the condition. Even in pre-diabetics, constituting 133 million Americans, the degree of hearing loss is 30% higher than in individuals with normal blood sugar levels.

Various body areas can be impacted 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 interrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both scenarios can worsen hearing loss.

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

Signs you might have hearing loss

Hearing loss frequently develops gradually and can go unnoticed if you aren’t actively paying attention. In many cases, friends and colleagues may detect the issue before you identify it.

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

  • Having a hard time hearing in noisy places
  • Trouble hearing on the phone
  • Keeping the TV volume at a high level
  • Perceiving others as mumbling
  • Constantly needing people to repeat what they said

If you notice any of these challenges or if someone points out changes in your hearing, it’s worthwhile to consult with us. After performing a hearing screening, we will set up a baseline for future visits and help you with any issues you may be having with balance.

Be proactive if you have diabetes

We encourage all individuals who has diabetes to get a yearly hearing test.

Maintain your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

Use ear protection and avoid overly loud situations.

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.