The Connection Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

You may already know that among the many issues that can cause hearing loss, getting older is significant, it can be genetic and run in families, or it can occur if you are commonly around very loud noises. You might be surprised to learn about the connection between diabetes and hearing loss. We will explain.

Hearing Loss Risks With Diabeteshearing loss

According to the CDC, 9% or 37 million US citizens have diabetes, and we know it increases with age. Hearing loss is two times as common in people who have diabetes as it is with those who do not. Even pre-diabetics, or 133 million Americans, have a 30% higher rate of hearing loss than those with normal blood sugar levels.

Diabetes leads to nerve damage in many parts of the body. This includes your hands, feet, eyes, and kidneys. The same can happen to your ears. When your blood sugar level is too high, this can damage the small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ears. When your blood sugar level is too low, this can also cause damage, namely how the nerve signals travel from the inner ear to your brain. Therefore, either can cause hearing loss.

Uncontrolled diabetes causes long-term high blood pressure which damages the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, nerves, and eyes.

Hearing Loss Happens Slowly

You can develop hearing loss when you’re not paying attention, and it typically happens slowly. Most of the time friends and coworkers notice the issue before you do.

Some telltale signs include the following:

  • Trouble hearing on the phone
  • Difficulty in noisy restaurants
  • Asking other to repeat what they said
  • Keeping the TV volume up high
  • Thinking others are mumbling

If you notice any of these above problems, or if a friend mentions you are not hearing like you used to, it might be time to see an audiologist. Coastal Ear, Nose, & Throat will test your hearing and provide a baseline for future tests. Any balance issues will be noted as well.

Be Proactive

Get an annual hearing check from Coastal Ear, Nose, & Throat in Savannah and Pooler. 

Keep your blood sugar levels as close to your target level as possible. Avoid loud noises and protect your ears with headphones.

Contact Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat at (912) 355-2335 if you suspect you may have a hearing issue.