People with diabetes have difficulty extracting and storing energy from food. As a result, sugar levels in the blood increase. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage small blood vessels in the body. Parts of the body most affected by damage to small blood vessels are the eyes, kidneys, and nerves of the body. The inner ear is not usually thought to be affected by diabetes. However, hearing depends on small blood vessels and nerves similar to those in other parts of the body that are affected by high blood sugar levels. Some people think diabetes might cause ear damage. If diabetes caused damage to the ear, people with diabetes could be more likely to have hearing problems than people without diabetes.