Hearing & Diabetes

Woman testing her blood sugar to manage her diabetes

Hearing Loss
and Diabetes

More than 38 million people in the United States have diabetes.

A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes as it is in those who don’t have diabetes. Also, for those who have prediabetes, the rate of hearing loss is 30% higher than in those with normal blood glucose levels.

Diabetes damages small blood vessels in your inner ear and your vestibular system, which is the part of your inner ear that helps with balance. It can make it harder for signals related to hearing and balance to get to your brain. Hearing loss is more common and can progress faster in people with diabetes. You are also more likely to fall if you have diabetes because of damage to your vestibular system as well as any other neuropathy you might have. Even without having the added risk factor of diabetes, untreated hearing loss actually triples your risk of falling.

What to do:

Managing diabetes is a key way to prevent hearing loss from developing and progressing. If you already have hearing loss and diabetes, be sure to have your hearing evaluated on a yearly basis to catch any changes and to wear your hearing aids. Make an appointment to have your hearing tested today.