You might be familiar with the various aspects contributing to hearing loss, including the impact of getting older, genetic predisposition within families, or prolonged exposure to loud noises. However, you might find it interesting to understand the connection between diabetes and hearing loss. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.
How is your risk of experiencing hearing loss raised 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 in comparison to those who don’t have the condition. 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.
Various body regions can be impacted by diabetes: kidneys, hands, feet, eyes, and even ears. The degeneration of the small blood vessels inside of your ears can be accelerated by high blood sugar levels. Conversely, low blood sugar levels can disrupt the transmission of nerve signals from the inner ear to the brain. Both scenarios can contribute to hearing loss.
The lack of diabetes management induces persistent high blood pressure, causing damage to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, nerves, and eyes.
Signs you may be dealing with hearing loss
Hearing loss frequently occurs slowly and can go unnoticed if you aren’t actively paying attention. In many cases, friends and colleagues might observe the issue before you become aware of it.
Some indicative signs of hearing loss include:
- Always having to crank the volume up on your devices and TV
- Having a difficult time hearing in loud places
- Difficulty following phone conversations
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
- Feeling as if people are mumbling when they talk
If you notice any of these difficulties or if someone points out changes in your hearing, it’s essential to consult with us. We will perform a hearing test that will establish a baseline for future assessments and also deal with any balance-related challenges.
Be proactive if you have diabetes
Getting a yearly hearing test is important, and that’s especially true for somebody with diabetes.
Keep control of your blood sugar levels.
Steer clear of loud noises and shield your ears by using earplugs.