How Diabetes Raises Your Risk of Hearing Loss


Diabetic woman using a flash glucose monitor.

Genetic predisposition, aging, and extended exposure to loud sound are all common factors that can contribute to hearing loss. But the connection between hearing loss and diabetes isn’t as well known. Allow us to elaborate.

How does diabetes increase your risk of hearing loss?

The prevalence of diabetes increases as you get older, and 37 million individuals, or 9% of the United States population, cope with this condition according to the CDC. Hearing loss is two times as prevalent in individuals with diabetes compared to individuals without the condition. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% increased risk of experiencing hearing loss than people whose blood sugar is normal.

Diabetes can cause nerve damage across a variety of bodily regions, including the hands, feet, eyes, kidneys, and ears. The degeneration of the small blood vessels inside of your ears can be accelerated by high blood sugar levels. 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 outcome of both scenarios.

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

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

If you aren’t actively monitoring the state of your hearing, hearing loss can gradually sneak up on you. In many cases, friends and colleagues might notice the problem before you identify it.

Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:

  • Having a tough time hearing in loud places
  • Perceiving others as mumbling
  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Always having to turn the volume up on your devices and TV
  • Trouble following phone conversations

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

If you have diabetes, be proactive

We encourage all individuals with diabetes to get an annual hearing test.

Maintain control of your blood sugar levels.

Steer clear of loud noises and shield your ears by wearing earplugs.

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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.

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