Diabetes and Hearing Loss

  • Nearly 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes
  • An estimated 34.5 million people in the U.S. have some type of hearing loss
  • Recent studies have found that hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes as it is in those who don’t have diabetes
  • Adults with pre-diabetes have a 30% higher rate of hearing loss compared to those with normal blood sugar levels
  • It is believed that high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes cause damage to the small blood vessels in the inner ear, similar to the damage that can be done to the eyes and kidneys

Signs of hearing loss include:

  1. Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  2. Trouble following conversations that involve more than two people
  3. Thinking that others are mumbling
  4. Problems hearing in noisy places such as busy restaurants
  5. Turning up the TV or radio volume too loud for other who are nearby
  6. Trouble hearing the voices of women and small children

If you suspect that you may have a hearing loss, talk to your primary care doctor. You may want to visit a specialist, such as an Audiologist, for a full hearing exam. This exam will allow you to learn more about your hearing loss and what can be done to treat it.

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