You might be familiar with the various factors contributing to hearing loss, including the impact of aging, genetic predisposition within families, or extended exposure to loud noises. However, you may find it intriguing to discover the connection between diabetes and hearing impairment. Allow us to elaborate.
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 increases with age. Hearing loss is two times as prevalent in individuals with diabetes compared to people without the condition. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% increased risk of developing hearing loss than individuals whose blood sugar is normal.
Diabetes can result in nerve damage across various bodily regions, including the hands, feet, eyes, kidneys, and ears. Elevated blood sugar levels can cause the degeneration 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 scenarios can contribute to hearing loss.
The lack of diabetes control induces persistent high blood pressure, causing damage to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, nerves, and eyes.
You might have hearing loss if you detect any of these signs
If you aren’t actively monitoring the condition of your hearing, hearing loss can gradually sneak up on you. In many situations, friends and co-workers might detect the problem before you become aware of it.
Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:
- Feeling like people are mumbling when they talk
- Constantly needing people to repeat what they said
- Difficulty following phone conversations
- Having a difficult time hearing in noisy places
- Keeping the TV volume really loud
It’s essential to contact us for a consultation if you experience any of these signs or if someone points out your hearing changes. We will conduct a hearing examination that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also address any balance-related challenges.
Be proactive if your navigating diabetes
Getting an annual hearing test is important, and that’s particularly true for someone who has diabetes.
Keep your blood sugar levels within the desired range.
Avoid loud noises and shield your ears by using earplugs.