November is American Diabetes Month®, shining a light on the risks of diabetes and pre-diabetes. One of those risks is potential hearing loss. In fact, studies show that hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes than in those who don’t have it.
What causes or contributes to hearing loss in people with diabetes isn’t totally clear.
Your ear is a delicate structure — and one that you depend on every day. When diabetes, especially if not managed properly, takes its toll on the small blood vessels throughout your body, your ears are damaged, too. And while other parts of your body can accommodate for damaged blood vessels by depending on alternative blood supplies, your ear doesn’t have that option.
Another complication of diabetes is neuropathy. Over time, high blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, and elevated levels of fats, such as triglycerides, in the blood from diabetes can damage your nerves. It’s possible that damage to the auditory nerves could lead to hearing loss.
As with many conditions associated with diabetes, tight blood sugar control and a solid diabetic management strategy can help you avoid hearing loss. Steering clear of other hearing loss risk factors, such as smoking and over exposure to loud noise, can help protect your ears as well.
If you are diabetic, be sure to get your hearing tested regularly to address any changes early. Call Amplifon Hearing Health Care today to find a provider near you and to schedule a free hearing screening.