Diabetes and hearing loss are two of America's most widespread health concerns.
More than 38 million people in the United States have diabetes, and a recent study found that hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes as it is in those who don't have diabetes. Also, of the nearly 98 million adults in the United States who have prediabetes, the rate of hearing loss is 30 percent higher than in those with normal blood glucose (blood sugar).
Right now, we don't know how diabetes is related to hearing loss. It's possible that the high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes cause damage to the small blood vessels in the inner ear, similar to the way in which diabetes can damage the eyes and the kidneys. But more research needs to be done to discover why people with diabetes have a higher rate of hearing loss.
Since it can happen slowly, the symptoms of hearing loss can often be hard to notice. In fact, family members and friends sometimes notice the hearing loss before the person experiencing it.