You may be familiar with the numerous aspects contributing to hearing loss, like the impact of getting older, genetic predisposition within families, or prolonged exposure to loud noises. But the link between hearing loss and diabetes is not 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 individuals, or 9% of the United States population, cope with this condition according to the CDC. And if you’re dealing with diabetes, you’re twice as likely to experience hearing loss. 133 million Americans are pre-diabetic and even they have a 30% higher risk of developing hearing loss than individuals whose blood sugar is normal.
A variety of body areas can be affected by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. The degeneration of the small blood vessels inside of your ears can be increased by elevated blood sugar levels. Conversely, low blood sugar levels can disrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both situations can worsen hearing loss.
Damage to the kidneys, heart, nerves, eyes, and blood vessels can be caused by chronic high blood pressure due to uncontrolled diabetes.
Signs you might be dealing with hearing loss
Hearing loss often occurs gradually and can go unnoticed if you aren’t actively paying attention. In many situations, friends and colleagues might detect the issue before you identify it.
Some suggestive signs of hearing loss include:
- Struggling in noisy restaurants
- Difficulty following phone conversations
- Constantly needing people to repeat what they said
- Feeling like people are mumbling when they speak
- Keeping the TV volume really loud
It’s essential to contact us for a consultation if you experience any of these signs or if somebody points out your hearing changes. We will carry out a hearing test that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also address any balance-related challenges.
If you have diabetes, be proactive
We encourage all individuals who has diabetes to get a yearly hearing check.
Keep control of your blood sugar levels.
Avoid loud noises and shield your ears by using earplugs.