The Affordable Hearing Aid Center

Diabetes and Your Hearing

man cupping hand to ear

There are many risk factors for hearing loss, and one thing that many people ask about is the impact diabetes can have on hearing. We know that diabetes, especially when poorly managed, can place people in a higher risk group for a variety of conditions.

We’re going to discuss today what kind of overlap there is between diabetes and hearing issues such as hearing loss. So, if this is something you want to find out more about, you’re in the right place. Consult a professional hearing instrument specialist if you have any further questions about treating hearing loss.

What Is Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is defined by a decline in hearing performance, and it can be tested by professionals. They’ll be able to assess the range of your hearing and subsequently tell you the extent of any hearing loss that might be present. Hearing loss comes in many shapes and sizes though, with it often being a result of old age but can also be caused by loud noises or other risk factors. No one is too young to experience hearing loss, even if it does mostly impact people in older age.

What Causes It?

So, what causes hearing loss? There’s no single answer to that question. There are many different answers, including old age, noises, hereditary factors, illnesses and the effects of medication. Only when hearing loss takes place can hearing professionals go back and see what caused it. 

The most common cause of hearing loss in people who are below the age of 65 is loud noises, and this is known as noise-induced hearing loss. It can be caused by a repeated exposure to loud noises over time or one loud event. It can be prevented with the use of proper ear protection.

Diabetes As a Risk Factor for Hearing Loss

Diabetes can also be a risk factor for hearing loss. This is something that is not yet fully understood as the research behind it is relatively young and further inquiry and research will be needed before firm conclusions can be drawn. Diabetes is believed to have an impact on hearing though, and it’s usually linked to poorly controlled diabetes. Like many of the illnesses caused by diabetes, good control and management of the condition can help to offset or avoid the arrival of the condition. Nevertheless, diabetes is increasingly seen as a hearing loss risk factor.

Prolonged Increases in Blood Glucose Levels

As we mentioned above, poorly managed diabetes isn’t good for long-term hearing outcomes. And when we talk about poorly controlled diabetes, what we’re really talking about is the prolonged increase in blood glucose levels. When the blood glucose level is high, it puts greater pressure on the blood vessels and that applies to the blood vessels in the inner ear as well. Diabetes is also associated with nerve damage, and this has been linked to hearing loss too. As those nerves and blood vessels become damaged over time, hearing performance declines.

Taking Control of Your Diabetes

If you want to avoid these problems and you have diabetes, it’s a good idea to start taking better control of your condition and to keep your blood glucose levels in check. When you’re able to do that, you’ll be far less likely to have to deal with these problems in your future. Of course, good control of type one diabetes can be tough and that’s why it pays off to work closely with your care professionals when it comes to your medication and planning your diet because those are the things that’ll have the greatest impact.

The Signs of Hearing Loss to Look Out For

There are plenty of signs of hearing loss that you should be looking out for if you’re diabetic and you want to catch hearing loss early if it ever does strike you. Simple things like struggling to hear other people speak is one thing to look out for, or other people noticing that you’re not as receptive to them or sometimes don’t hear them at all. You might also notice yourself having to turn up the volume when you never had too previously.

If you want to find out more about how your hearing might be impacted by diabetes, you can contact us here at New Hartford Hearing Center today. We’ll be able to book an appointment if you want to see a hearing instrument specialist about treating hearing loss as well. Be sure to contact us at 315-801-2991 regarding any questions or issues you might have.