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Diabetes and Hearing Loss

Can Diabetes Affect Hearing?

Diabetes is one of the many comorbidities associated with hearing loss. If you or someone you know has diabetes, you are most likely familiar with the damage the disease can do to the circulatory system. What you might not know is that the same glucose overload that destroys parts of the body can also impact hearing ability.

How is Diabetes Connected to Hearing?

One of the most common symptoms of diabetes is nerve damage to the hands, feet, eyes, and kidneys. Although less known to people, diabetes can cause nerve damage in the ears as well. Over time, high blood sugar levels from diabetes can damage the small, delicate blood vessels of the inner ear, resulting in sensorineural hearing loss.

For those who have low blood sugar – most commonly associated with type 1 diabetes – the nerve signals that carry sound to your brain can be damaged, leading to hearing loss as well.

Studies have shown that diabetics are more than 2 times as likely to develop hearing loss. Even people with prediabetes have a 30% higher rate of hearing loss than people with normal blood sugar levels. When left untreated, hearing loss can weaken a person’s ability to communicate, can lead to depression and isolation, and can even contribute to dementia.

What Can Be Done

People with diabetes and their families should be aware of this increased risk as screening for hearing loss, unlike vision, is not among the current tests routinely given to diabetics. For individuals in Monterey, Hollister, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and the surrounding areas, we can help you be proactive of your hearing health!

At Valley Hearing Center, we offer advanced technology to make managing hearing loss easy. We can perform a test to determine if you could be helped by a hearing aid at our Salinas office. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and be proactive of your hearing health.