How Diabetes Raises Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You might be familiar with the numerous aspects contributing to hearing loss, including the impact of aging, genetic predisposition within families, or extended exposure to loud noises. However, you may find it interesting to understand the link between diabetes and hearing impairment. 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 people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, and this prevalence increases with age. And if you have diabetes, you’re two times as likely to develop hearing loss. Even in pre-diabetics, constituting 133 million Americans, the degree of hearing loss is 30% higher than in individuals with normal blood sugar levels.

A variety of body regions can be affected by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. High blood sugar levels can lead to the degeneration of small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ears. And on the other end of the spectrum, the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear can be interrupted by low blood sugar. Worsened hearing loss can be the result of both situations.

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

Signs you might have 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 colleagues may detect the problem before you become aware of it.

Here are a few signs of hearing loss:

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

It’s important to call us for a consultation if you experience any of these signs or if somebody points out your hearing changes. After performing a hearing examination, we will set up a baseline for future visits and help you with any issues you might be having with balance.

Be proactive if you have diabetes

We encourage anyone with diabetes to get an annual hearing check.

Keep control of your blood sugar levels.

Make use of ear protection and avoid 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.