A female audiologist speaking with a patient in her office

Diabetes & Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is twice as common among adults with diabetes.

An average of 30 million people in the U.S. alone are living with diabetes — a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired. While the direct link between diabetes and hearing loss isn’t clear, it’s known that high blood sugar damages blood vessels throughout the body and that nerve damage is a complication commonly associated with diabetes.

What does this have to do with hearing loss? Your ears are full of small blood vessels that lack the ability to depend on an alternative blood supply once the flow is damaged. A damaged flow will result in a loss of hearing. Similarly, a rise in blood sugar will result in a breakdown of nerves in the ears, weakening the sounds you are able to hear.

How can I prevent diabetes from damaging my hearing?

  1. 1. Manage your blood sugar levels through:
    • Medication
    • Healthy Diet
    • Exercise
  2. 2. Reduce your exposure to loud noises.
  3. 3. Do not smoke or use tobacco.

 
As the link between hearing loss and diabetes continues to grow, it is recommended that individuals with diabetes go to an annual hearing evaluation to be proactive and monitor their hearing health.