You may be familiar with the numerous factors contributing to hearing loss, including the impact of aging, genetic predisposition within families, or extended exposure to loud sounds. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes isn’t as well known. 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 people or 9% of the United States population cope with this condition according to the CDC. Hearing loss is twice as prevalent in people with diabetes compared to individuals without the condition. Even in pre-diabetics, constituting 133 million Americans, the degree of hearing loss is 30% higher than in individuals with normal blood sugar levels.
Diabetes can cause nerve damage across various bodily areas, including the hands, feet, eyes, kidneys, and ears. The deterioration of the small blood vessels inside of your ears can be increased by high blood sugar levels. Conversely, low blood sugar levels can interrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Worsened hearing loss can be the result of both situations.
The lack of diabetes control causes persistent high blood pressure, leading to damage to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, nerves, and eyes.
Signs you may be dealing with hearing loss
If you’re not actively monitoring the condition of your hearing, hearing loss can slowly sneak up on you. It’s not uncommon for people around you to observe your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:
- Always needing to turn up the volume of your devices and TV
- Constantly needing people to repeat what they said
- Feeling as if people are mumbling when they talk
- Difficulty following phone conversations
- Having a hard time hearing in noisy places
It’s important to contact us for a consultation if you experience any of these signs or if someone points out your hearing changes. We will perform a hearing examination that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also deal with any balance-related concerns.
Be proactive if your navigating diabetes
Getting a yearly hearing test is important, and that’s particularly true for somebody who has diabetes.
Maintain your blood sugar levels within the desired range.
Steer clear of loud noises and protect your ears by wearing earplugs.