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. But the connection between hearing loss and diabetes is not as well known. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.

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

As per the CDC, 9% or 37 million individuals in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, and this prevalence increases with age. And if you’re dealing with diabetes, you’re two times as likely to experience hearing loss. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% increased risk of experiencing hearing loss than individuals whose blood sugar is normal.

Various body areas can be affected 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 scenarios.

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

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

If you aren’t actively monitoring the condition of your hearing, hearing loss can gradually sneak up on you. In many instances, friends and co-workers may observe the issue before you identify it.

Some suggestive signs of hearing loss include:

  • Always having to crank up the volume of your devices and TV
  • Difficulty hearing on the phone
  • Feeling like people are mumbling when they talk
  • Constantly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Having a hard time hearing in loud places

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

Be proactive if your navigating diabetes

We encourage anybody with diabetes to get a yearly hearing test.

Keep control of your blood sugar levels.

Avoid loud noises and safeguard your ears by using earplugs.

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