How Diabetes Raises Your Risk of Hearing Loss

Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

You might be familiar with the numerous factors contributing to hearing loss, like the impact of aging, genetic predisposition within families, or extended exposure to loud sounds. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes is not as widely known. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.

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

As per the CDC, 9% or 37 million individuals 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 experience hearing loss. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% increased risk of developing hearing loss than people whose blood sugar is normal.

Diabetes can cause nerve damage across various bodily regions, including the hands, feet, eyes, kidneys, and ears. High blood sugar levels can cause the deterioration 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. Both situations can contribute to hearing loss.

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

Signs you might be dealing with hearing loss

Hearing loss frequently develops slowly and can go unnoticed if you aren’t actively paying attention. It’s not unusual for people close to you to notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.

Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:

  • Trouble following phone conversations
  • Struggling in noisy establishments
  • Keeping the TV volume at a high level
  • Feeling like people are mumbling when they speak
  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves

If you encounter any of these difficulties or if somebody points out changes in your hearing, it’s worthwhile to consult with us. We will conduct a hearing test that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also deal with any balance-related challenges.

If you have diabetes, be proactive

We encourage anyone who has diabetes to get a yearly hearing check.

Keep control of your blood sugar levels.

Avoid loud noises and shield your ears by wearing earplugs.

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.