How Diabetes Increases Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You might be acquainted with the various factors contributing to hearing loss, including the impact of getting older, genetic predisposition within families, or extended exposure to loud sounds. However, you might find it intriguing to discover the link between diabetes and hearing impairment. Let us elaborate.

How is your risk of experiencing hearing loss increased 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. And if you’re dealing with diabetes, you’re two times as likely to experience hearing loss. Even in pre-diabetics, constituting 133 million Americans, the rate of hearing loss is 30% higher than in individuals with normal blood sugar levels.

Various body areas can be affected by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. The deterioration of the small blood vessels inside of your ears can be accelerated by high blood sugar levels. And on the other end of the spectrum, the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear can be interrupted by low blood sugar. Both scenarios can contribute to hearing loss.

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

Signs you may have hearing loss

If you’re not actively monitoring the condition of your hearing, hearing loss can slowly sneak up on you. It’s not uncommon for people around you to notice your hearing loss before you notice it.

Some suggestive signs of hearing loss include:

  • Having a tough time hearing in loud places
  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Feeling as if people are mumbling when they talk
  • Trouble hearing on the phone
  • Always having to crank up the volume of your devices and TV

It’s essential to call us for a consultation if you observe any of these signs or if someone points out your hearing changes. We will conduct a hearing exam that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also address any balance-related challenges.

If you have diabetes, be proactive

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

Maintain your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

Use ear protection and steer clear of overly loud settings.

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.