Hearing loss is a common, if unwanted, challenge for many of us as we age. Sometimes, diminished hearing can result from a lifetime of listening to loud music or sudden trauma. But for people with diabetes, hearing loss is one of the many potential complications that come with the condition. Hearing loss is twice as common in individuals with diabetes as it is in people the same age who don’t. Even people diagnosed with prediabetes have a 30 percent higher rate of hearing loss than people with normal blood sugar levels.
If you have diabetes, there are several ways you can reduce your chances of hearing loss, including effective blood sugar management and monitoring.
The Link Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss
Nerve damage is one of the common problems associated with diabetes, and our ears contain a lot of nerves.
As years go by, high blood sugar levels can damage nerves and small blood vessels in the inner ear and negatively impact the ability of nerve signals to travel from the inner ear to the brain. Additionally, the damage to the blood vessels in the inner ear can affect balance, making dizziness and falls more likely
Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is often hard to notice because it usually happens gradually over time. Often, family members or friends will recognize the issue first, such as when someone consistently watches TV at a very high volume. In addition to that common example, other indications that a person, whether with diabetes or otherwise, may be experiencing hearing loss:
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves.
- Trouble following conversations.
- Thinking that other people are mumbling.
- Problems hearing in noisy or busy places.
How To Protect Your Ears If You Have Diabetes
Hearing loss is largely irreversible, even though hearing aids can help reduce some of the frustration and difficulties that come with the inability to hear things clearly. If you have diabetes, here are some simple things you can do to prevent or minimize hearing loss:
- Have your hearing checked every year.
- Avoid other causes of hearing loss, including loud noises.
- Ask your doctor whether any medicines you are taking can damage your hearing and whether there are other options.
- Keep your blood sugar as close to your target levels as possible.
Keep Your Blood Sugar In Check With CGM
As noted, keeping blood glucose levels as close to your target level as possible is a critical element of preventing diabetes-related hearing loss. One way to ensure that you keep your blood levels in check is through Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM). It is a tested, approved, accurate, and easy-to-use transceiver device that helps those with diabetes monitor keep abreast of their blood sugar levels 24/7 without any need to stop what their doing to take a blood sample.
Speak with your doctor and contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.