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Is there a Link Between Diabetes & Hearing Loss?

Matt Dearing Ear Health, Hearing

A 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate estimates that nearly 100 million US individuals currently have diabetes or prediabetes. If you have this very prevalent ailment, you are undoubtedly aware of the health concerns it presents if not appropriately controlled. Diabetes may also raise your chances of having hearing loss, which you may not be aware of. Continue reading to learn more about this vital link.

What exactly is diabetes?

Diabetes, in a nutshell, inhibits the body’s capacity to make or react to insulin, a hormone that aids glucose transport to and use by the body’s cells. Consequently, glucose levels in the bloodstream stay high, which may lead to significant complications over time. Diabetes, on the other hand, may be treated with diet and medicine to reduce the harmful consequences of the condition on the body.

Unfortunately, according to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, the proportion of the American population with this condition has been growing by more than half in the last ten years.


What is the relationship between diabetes and hearing loss?

Two recent studies examined the relationship between diabetes and hearing loss and found that people with diabetes are more likely to have hearing problems than non-diabetics.

More study is needed before scientists can pinpoint why diabetes impairs hearing, but one idea suggests that it all boils down to circulation. High blood glucose levels may cause damage to the tiny blood arteries in the inner ear, resulting in less blood reaching the vital sensory hair cells. These hair cells are essential in the hearing because they convert sounds into electrical impulses, which are subsequently conveyed via the auditory nerve and processed by the brain. When the blood supply to the hair cells is insufficient, the cells are injured or die, and the body cannot replace them. As a consequence, hearing loss is irreversible.


Recent studies

In a 2008 National Institutes of Health (NIH) research, persons with diabetes were more than twice as likely as non-diabetic participants to have mild to severe hearing loss. Diabetics (54%) had higher rates of high-frequency hearing loss than non-diabetics (32%).


Further research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2012 backed up the NIH’s results. This research looked at data from 13 studies with over 20,000 individuals. The research found that people with diabetes, regardless of age, had a higher risk of hearing loss than individuals who did not have the illness.

Methods for preserving your hearing health if you have diabetes

If you have diabetes, whether or not you have signs of hearing loss, you can take a few crucial steps to safeguard the hearing you still have. Remember that if you suffer from hearing loss, proven treatment alternatives, such as hearing aids, may help you avoid harming your life and relationships.


In addition to controlling your diabetes with food, exercise, and, if required, medication, here are a few measures to protect your hearing health.

Protect your hearing from noise. Because diabetes may weaken the hair cells of the inner ear, making them more susceptible to hearing impairment, you should be aware of the sounds around you. Monitor the volume on your music player, television, automobile, and home sound systems. As a general guideline, the volume is loud if you or others must raise your voice to be heard. You should wear proper hearing protection if you enjoy a loud pastime, such as recreational shooting or visiting athletic events. In a nutshell, don’t leave the house without your earplugs!

Make physical activity a top priority. Even modest exercise is an excellent approach to improve circulation and enhance blood flow to the vital tissues in your inner ears. Consult your doctor about the best sort of exercise for you and your present condition of health.

Seek weight-management assistance if required. Obesity makes it more difficult for your heart to deliver blood to your ears, which might impair your hearing. Excess weight may also aggravate other diabetic symptoms. If you are worried about weight impacting your circulation and general health, talk to your doctor about weight reduction choices or seek out local weight loss clubs.

Have your hearing examined regularly. Maintaining your hearing health while living with diabetes necessitates frequent hearing checks and sharing your diabetes diagnosis with your hearing health expert as part of your medical history.


We can help you learn more about your hearing health.

Diabetes does not guarantee hearing loss, but since it increases your risk, it is vital to get frequent screenings and be proactive in protecting your hearing health. A thorough assessment with us will give you a detailed picture of your present hearing level and assist us in determining if you might benefit from hearing aids. We may also talk about measures to safeguard your hearing in the long run. Make your appointment right now.