How Diabetes Increases Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

Genetic predisposition, aging, and extended exposure to loud noise are all familiar factors that can contribute to hearing loss. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes is not as widely known. Let’s dig a little bit deeper into that.

How does diabetes raise your risk of hearing loss?

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 twice as likely to develop 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 impacted by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. The deterioration of the small blood vessels inside of your ears can be increased by high blood sugar levels. And on the other end of the spectrum, the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear can be disrupted by low blood sugar. Both scenarios can contribute to hearing loss.

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

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

If you’re not actively monitoring the condition of your hearing, hearing loss can gradually sneak up on you. In many instances, friends and colleagues may observe the problem before you identify it.

Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:

  • Perceiving others as mumbling
  • Having a tough time hearing in noisy places
  • Trouble following phone conversations
  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Keeping the TV volume at a high level

It’s important to contact us for a consultation if you notice any of these signs or if someone points out your hearing changes. 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 you have diabetes

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

Keep your blood sugar levels within the desired range.

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.