Genetic predisposition, aging, and prolonged exposure to loud noise are all common factors that can contribute to hearing loss. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes isn’t as widely known. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.
How does diabetes raise your risk of hearing loss?
The prevalence of diabetes increases as you get older, and 37 million people, or 9% of the United States population, have this condition according to the CDC. 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 people with normal blood sugar levels.
Various body regions 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 disrupted by low blood sugar. Both situations can worsen hearing loss.
The lack of diabetes management induces chronic high blood pressure, leading to damage to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, nerves, and eyes.
You may have hearing loss if you detect any of these signs
Hearing loss frequently occurs gradually and can go undetected if you’re not actively paying attention. In many situations, friends and co-workers might detect the issue before you identify it.
Here are a few signs of hearing loss:
- Feeling like people are mumbling when they talk
- Regularly needing people to repeat what they said
- Difficulty hearing on the phone
- Struggling in noisy restaurants
- Keeping the TV volume really loud
If you encounter any of these challenges or if somebody points out changes in your hearing, it’s important to consult with us. After doing a hearing test, we will establish a baseline for future visits and help you with any issues you might be having with balance.
Be proactive if you have diabetes
Getting an annual hearing exam is important, and that’s especially true for somebody with diabetes.
Keep control of your blood sugar levels.
Steer clear of loud noises and shield your ears by using earplugs.