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Can Low Blood Sugar Cause Hearing Loss

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Is Diabetes A Risk Factor For Deafness

Can Diabetes Cause Hearing Loss? | World Hearing Day

Diabetes has been linked to the development of hearing problems in various research studies.

Health experts medical researchers have debated the possible link between diabetes and hearing loss since the 1960s and early attempts to establish such as association were not very convincing. But in recent years there has been growing evidence to suggest diabetes contributes to hearing loss.

What Insulin Medications Are Approved To Treat Diabetes

There are many types of insulins for diabetes. If you need insulin, you healthcare team will discuss the different types and if they are to be combined with oral medications. To follow is a brief review of insulin types.

  • Rapid-acting insulins: These insulins are taken 15 minutes before meals, they peak at one hour and work for another two to four hours. Examples include insulin glulisine , insulin lispro and insulin aspart .
  • Short-acting insulins: These insulins take about 30 minutes to reach your bloodstream, reach their peak effects in two to three hours and last for three to six hours. An example is insulin regular .
  • Intermediate-acting insulins: These insulins reach your bloodstream in two to four hours, peak in four to 12 hours and work for up to 18 hours. An example in NPH.
  • Long-acting insulins: These insulins work to keep your blood sugar stable all day. Usually, these insulins last for about 18 hours. Examples include insulin glargine , insulin detemir and insulin degludec .

There are insulins that are a combination of different insulins. There are also insulins that are combined with a GLP-1 receptor agonist medication .

What Types Of Healthcare Professionals Might Be Part Of My Diabetes Treatment Team

Most people with diabetes see their primary healthcare provider first. Your provider might refer you to an endocrinologist/pediatric endocrinologist, a physician who specializes in diabetes care. Other members of your healthcare team may include an ophthalmologist , nephrologist , cardiologist , podiatrist , neurologist , gastroenterologist , registered dietician, nurse practitioners/physician assistants, diabetes educator, pharmacist, personal trainer, social worker, mental health professional, transplant team and others.

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What Factors Increase The Risk Of Hearing Loss

If diabetes is left untreated, there is an increased risk of developing hearing loss. Fortunately, if blood sugar levels are monitored, people with diabetes have the same risk of hearing impairment as non-diabetics. Out of all the different age groups, female diabetics between 60 and 75 are the most likely to develop hearing problems, as found in a study by Dr. Derek J. Handzo in the United States. This holds true for those whose blood sugar levels were not treated.

In fact, decreased hearing is, of course, a normal effect of aging. It was shown that diabetic women in this age group who control their blood sugar levels have the same level of hearing as the women who do not have diabetes.

Limitations On Successful Coping During Spikes

Diabetes can increase your risk for hearing loss

The biggest challenge you will face in coping with spikes is that no matter how perfectly you use your coping tools, you will almost always still have to endure some degree of discomfort.

Tinnitus is often best dealt with using a variety of tools that help calm the brain,especially meditation.

Its helpful to think about the intensity of your tinnitus-related suffering on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst.

If you are experiencing a severe tinnitus spike and your suffering is at a 10 out of 10, there is very little chance of getting that number down to zero.

For example, putting on background noise for masking is always helpful, though it will likely only take the edge off bringing you down 2-3 points at most.

With masking alone, you are still at a consistent 7 or 8 out of 10. So you add in other tools as well, like breathing techniques, and mental and physical relaxation techniques. You may try to distract yourself by seeing friends, playing a game, or getting some exercise, each subtracting a few additional points off the scale.

Through it all, you may only get that number down to a 5, and a 5 out of 10 on the suffering scale likely still involves a significant degree of discomfort.

Its also always exhausting to have to put so much energy into coping just to get through the day. But I can tell you from personal experience, a day spent at a consistent suffering level 5 is much better than being stuck at a level 10.

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How To Keep Diabetes From Affecting Your Hearing

Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes as those without the disease. If you are living with diabetes, reduce your risk of diabetes-related hearing loss with these tips.

About 16 percent of U.S. adults complain of hearing loss, and that number is on the rise, according to the National Institutes of Health . Among people with diabetes, the NIH reports that hearing-loss rates double.

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 working in loud occupations, can help protect your ears as well.

Everything you do to reduce complications will reduce the risk of hearing loss, says certified diabetes educator and diabetes care researcher Ann Williams, PhD, RN, CDE, a research associate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Williams points out that diabetes educators and medical management teams have traditionally been more focused on the long-term impact of diabetes on vision, but current data underscores the importance of protecting hearing as well. You do not want both hearing and vision impaired, she notes.

What Are Your Best Practices

This list is by no means exhaustive. Youll want to speak with your hearing professional about any dietary modifications you may need to make. Lets not forget that dietary adjustments affect everyone in a unique way, so in order to monitor what is working and what isnt, it might be a smart idea to keep a food journal.

Knowing what foods can lead to a tinnitus event can help you make wiser decisions going ahead. When you begin tracking what you eat, and what happens to your ears afterward, you might begin to detect patterns, and that can take some of the mystery out of your tinnitus symptoms.

Then you will recognize if you are going to regret that late cup of coffee.

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Will Diabetes Increase The Risk Of Ear Infections

People with diabetes have an increased risk of infection and related complications. One type of common ear infection is malignant otitis externa, which only affects diabetic people.

This is an infection of the external ear canal and skull base, which usually affects older people with diabetes.18 The infection is caused by bacteria and can spread to surrounding areas if its left untreated. 19

Sudden hearing loss can be a symptom of this infection, so you should get your ears checked out quickly if you are diabetic and experience sudden hearing loss.

Diabetic people can also be at a higher risk of developing inner ear infections due to excess insulin.20

So controlling your insulin levels and having regular check-ups are important to avoid both of these types of infection. 21, 22

How Else To Protect Your Hearing

BeatO Measures Blood Sugar Level That Helps To Prevent Childhood Obesity Due To Diabetes
  • Get your hearing tested annually.
  • Add exercise into your daily routine. Even a moderate amount improves circulation and blood flow. Talk to your doctor about what type of exercise is best for you.
  • Maintain an appropriate weight. Extra weight makes it more difficult for your heart to pump blood effectively to all parts of your body, including your ears.
  • Prevent hearing loss by turning down the volume on personal electronic devices, the television and car radio.
  • Protect your ears from excessive noise with headphones or disposable earplugs if you engage in noisy hobbies.

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What Should I Expect If I Have Been Diagnosed With Diabetes

If you have diabetes, the most important thing you can do is keep your blood glucose level within the target range recommended by your healthcare provider. In general, these targets are:

  • Before a meal: between 80 and 130 mg/dL.
  • About two hours after the start of a meal: less than 180 mg/dL.

You will need to closely follow a treatment plan, which will likely include following a customized diet plan, exercising 30 minutes five times a week, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol and getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Always take your medications and insulin as instructed by your provider.

The Symptoms Of Sudden Hearing Loss

Ear pressure and/or tinnitus are the first signs of a sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Symptoms usually occur at once or after a few days, usually in one ear. The severity of the symptoms may vary significantly. In worst case scenarios, permanent deafness may be possible.

The symptoms for sudden hearing loss include: Occurrence of hearing loss without a recognizable cause The absence of earache Hearing loss in one ear only

The accompanying symptoms include: Loss of sensation in the outer ear Ear pressure

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Youre Taking Drugs : These Medications Make Tinnitus Worse

Many medications can cause and worsen tinnitus. These include drugs most people think are harmless like over-the-counter pain medications, as well as prescription opiates like Oxycontin or morphine.

In addition to these, research has shown that some diuretics, antidepressants, antibiotics and cancer drugs can make tinnitus worse and cause permanent hearing loss. These drugs are known as ototoxic medications, which means that they can cause hearing loss. The good news is that tinnitus symptoms usually only last for as long as youre taking the medication the bad news is that some people need to take these drugs on a regular basis for other health reasons.

If you have to take these drugs, talk to your doctor about alternatives that may have less of an effect on your tinnitus. When possible, make lifestyle changes to reduce your need to take these drugs long-term.

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Tinnitus Awareness Week: Can What Youre Eating Impact Your Tinnitus

Type 2 diabetes: Experiencing this impairment in your ear ...

There is currently no scientific evidence to indicate that food has an impact on tinnitus. But the American Tinnitus Association has noted that many sufferers report a worsening in symptoms after eating sugar-laden foods.

Tinnitus is considered a heterogeneous condition, meaning its different for each person affected. This means that the foods that worsen or lesson symptoms of tinnitus will vary from one person to the next. However, there are a number of commonly reported food groups that sufferers of tinnitus report worsen or lessen their symptoms.

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What Does It Mean If Test Results Show I Have Protein In My Urine

This means your kidneys are allowing protein to be filtered through and now appear in your urine. This condition is called proteinuria. The continued presence of protein in your urine is a sign of kidney damage.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Theres much you can do to prevent the development of diabetes . However, if you or your child or adolescent develop symptoms of diabetes, see your healthcare provider. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the sooner steps can be taken to treat and control it. The better you are able to control your blood sugar level, the more likely you are to live a long, healthy life.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/28/2021.


How You Can Prevent Diabetes

Agrawal and colleagues looked at hearing and health information from 3,527 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2002 to gain a greater understanding of diabetes effects on hearing. She found that hearing-loss risk increases as measures of blood sugar control, such as A1C results, get worse.

Our research suggests a dose-response relationship, Agrawal says. Having higher A1C results means a greater risk of hearing loss as well.

Even though many people experience hearing loss as they age, there is a lot you can do to reduce your risk and preserve hearing, including:

  • Control blood sugar. Managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes can be hard work at times, but gaining and maintaining tight blood sugar control could keep your ears sharp longer.
  • Dont smoke. Smoking speeds hearing loss on its own, but acts as a risk multiplier when combined with other hearing loss risk factors, such as poorly controlled diabetes, working in an environment full of loud noise, or frequently using firearms .
  • Manage loud noise. When researchers look at hearing loss, they consider a noisy work environment to be one in which you have to raise your voice to be heard. This kind of environment increases your risk of hearing loss. If you cant switch tasks or jobs, consider using noise canceling or reducing devices to protect your ears.

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Discover What Works Best For You

This list is by no means comprehensive. Your hearing expert is the best place to begin concerning the dietary modifications you need to undertake. Lets not forget that dietary adjustments affect everyone in a unique way, so in order to monitor what is working and what isnt, it might be a smart idea to keep a food journal.

Moving forward you will have an easier time making smart choices if you know how certain foods affect you. When you start to track what you eat, and what happens to your ears subsequently, you may start to note patterns, and that can remove some of the mystery out of your tinnitus symptoms.

Then you will appreciate if you are going to regret that late cup of coffee.

by Audiology Associates of DFW | Dec 4, 2019 | Tinnitus Articles

Tinnitus flare ups are rarely constant they seem to appear and vanish, at times for no apparent reason at all. Maybe youre climbing into bed one night and, apparently without warning, your ears start ringing something fierce. As you lie in bed, you consider your day, and there arent any clear causes for this event: There is no discernible reason why, at 9 PM, ringing is happening, no noisy music, no loud fire alarms, nothing.

So maybe its the something you ate. We dont typically think about the link between hearing and food, but theres a bit of research and evidence to suggest that certain foods can make tinnitus worse. In order to stay away from those foods, its important to recognize what they are.

Can You Be Born With Diabetes Is It Genetic

New research says high blood sugar raises risk for hearing loss

You arent born with diabetes, but Type 1 diabetes usually appears in childhood. Prediabetes and diabetes develop slowly over time years. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy.Scientists do believe that genetics may play a role or contribute to the development of Type 1 diabetes. Something in the environment or a virus may trigger its development. If you have a family history of Type 1 diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. If you have a family history of prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes, youre at increased risk of developing prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes.

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While Diabetes Can Increase A Person’s Risk To Developing Hearing Loss If Certain Measures Are Taken This Risk Can Be Mitigated


Diabetes can affect numerous organs in your body, including your ears, tampering with your hearing ability. Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes than in those who dont suffer from this chronic condition. Hearing loss induced by diabetes is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60 years old.

How is hearing loss related to diabetes?

It is not uncommon for a person with diabetes to experience hearing loss since, over time, high levels of blood sugar can damage the nerves and small blood vessels in the inner ear. Low blood sugar levels can also tamper with the nerve signals that travel from your inner ear to your brain. Both types of damage can be detrimental to your hearing ability.

Other factors related to hearing loss

Hearing loss can be caused by factors other than diabetes. These factors include:

  • Collection of fluid in the ear
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Loud noises which can cause trauma to the ear
  • Smoking
  • Chronic diseases

When Is The Best Time To Test Blood Sugar

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What Are The Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia

Symptoms of hypoglycemia can start quickly, with people experiencing them in different ways. The signs of hypoglycemia are unpleasant. But they provide good warnings that you should take action before blood sugar drops more. The signs include:

  • Shaking or trembling.
  • Tingling or numbness in the face or mouth.

During a severe hypoglycemic event, a person may:

  • Be unable to eat or drink.
  • Have a seizure or convulsions .
  • Lose consciousness.
  • Slip into a coma or die .

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