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 familiar factors that can contribute to hearing loss. However, you may find it interesting to discover the connection between diabetes and hearing impairment. Let’s dig a little bit deeper into that.

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

The prevalence of diabetes increases as you get older, and 37 million individuals, or 9% of the United States population, have this condition according to the CDC. Hearing loss is twice as prevalent in people with diabetes in comparison to individuals without the condition. 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 a variety of bodily areas, including the hands, feet, eyes, kidneys, and 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 outcome of both situations.

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

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

Hearing loss frequently occurs slowly and can go unnoticed if you aren’t actively paying attention. In many situations, friends and colleagues might observe the issue before you become aware of it.

Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:

  • Struggling in noisy restaurants
  • Feeling as if people are mumbling when they talk
  • Regularly needing people to repeat what they said
  • Trouble following phone conversations
  • Keeping the TV volume really loud

It’s important to call us for a consultation if you notice any of these signs or if somebody points out your hearing changes. We will perform a hearing test that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also address any balance-related concerns.

Be proactive if you have diabetes

Getting an annual hearing test is important, and that’s particularly true for somebody with diabetes.

Maintain control of your blood sugar levels.

Avoid loud noises and safeguard your ears by wearing earplugs.

The content of this blog is the intellectual property of and is reprinted here with permission. The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive a hearing aid consultation, call today to schedule an appointment.