Genetic predisposition, aging, and extended exposure to loud noise are all familiar factors that can contribute to hearing loss. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes is not as well known. Let us elaborate.
How does diabetes increase 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, cope with this condition according to the CDC. And if you have diabetes, you’re twice as likely to develop hearing loss. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% higher risk of experiencing hearing loss than people whose blood sugar is normal.
Diabetes can result in 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. And on the other end of the spectrum, the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear can be interrupted by low blood sugar. Both situations can contribute to hearing loss.
Damage to the kidneys, heart, nerves, eyes, and blood vessels can be caused by persistent high blood pressure resulting from unchecked diabetes.
Signs you may be dealing with hearing loss
Hearing loss frequently develops slowly and can go unnoticed if you’re not actively paying attention. It’s not unusual for people around you to observe your hearing loss before you notice it.
Here are a few signs of hearing loss:
- Keeping the TV volume at a high level
- Feeling as if people are mumbling when they speak
- Constantly needing people to repeat what they said
- Struggling in loud restaurants
- Trouble following phone conversations
It’s essential to contact us for a consultation if you notice any of these signs or if somebody points out your hearing changes. After doing a hearing screening, we will establish a baseline for future visits and help you with any issues you may be having with balance.
Be proactive if your navigating diabetes
Getting an annual hearing test is important, and that’s especially true for somebody with diabetes.
Maintain control of your blood sugar levels.
Avoid loud noises and protect your ears by using earplugs.