Genetic predisposition, aging, and prolonged exposure to loud sound are all familiar factors that can contribute to hearing loss. But the connection between hearing loss and diabetes isn’t as widely known. Let us elaborate.
How is your risk of experiencing hearing loss raised by diabetes?
As per the CDC, 9% or 37 million individuals in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, and this prevalence increases with age. And if you have diabetes, you’re two times as likely to develop hearing loss. Even in pre-diabetics, constituting 133 million Americans, the degree of hearing loss is 30% higher than in people with normal blood sugar levels.
Various body areas can be affected by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even 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 interrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both scenarios can worsen 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 might have hearing loss
If you’re not actively monitoring the condition of your hearing, hearing loss can gradually sneak up on you. It’s not uncommon for people around you to observe your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Some suggestive signs of hearing loss include:
- Perceiving others as mumbling
- Trouble following phone conversations
- Regularly needing people to repeat what they said
- Keeping the TV volume at a high level
- Having a hard time hearing in loud places
It’s essential to call us for a consultation if you experience any of these signs or if someone points out your hearing changes. We will conduct a hearing exam that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also deal with any balance-related concerns.
If you have diabetes, be proactive
Getting a yearly hearing exam is important, and that’s particularly true for somebody with diabetes.
Maintain your blood sugar levels within the desired range.
Steer clear of loud noises and safeguard your ears by using earplugs.