It’s true, hearing loss can catch you by surprise. But there are times when hearing problems suddenly pounce you like a cat rather than sneaking up on you. Here’s a hypothetical: You wake up one morning and go into the shower and when you get out you notice your hearing seems off or different. Maybe muffled.
At first, you think that you have water in your ears, but when your hearing doesn’t get any better as the day advances, you get a bit more anxious.
It’s times like this when hearing loss seems to attack suddenly, as if from the shadows somewhere, that it’s a smart plan to seek out some medical help. That’s because sudden hearing loss can frequently be a symptom of a bigger problem. Sometimes, that larger problem can be an obstruction in your ear. It may be just a bit of earwax.
But sudden hearing loss can also be a symptom of diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
If you don’t instantly recognize the link between hearing loss and diabetes that would be understandable. Your pancreas seems like it’s a long way from your ears.
Type 2 diabetes is an ailment in which your body has trouble processing sugars into energy. This happens because your body either isn’t generating enough insulin or it’s not responding to the insulin that you do produce. This is why insulin injections are the most prevalent form of diabetes treatments.
What is The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing?
Diabetes is a common complex condition which can often be degenerative. It needs to be managed cautiously, in most cases with the help of your doctor. So how is that related to your hearing?
Believe it or not, a pretty common indicator of type 2 diabetes is sudden hearing loss. Collateral damage to other parts of the body is common with diabetes which commonly has an impact on blood vessels and nerves. These exact changes have a strong affect on the tiny hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So even before other more common diabetes symptoms appear (like numb toes), you might go through sudden hearing loss.
What Should I do?
You’ii want to get medical attention if your hearing has suddenly started giving you trouble. Diabetes, for instance, will frequently be totally symptomless initially, so you might not even know you have it until you begin to see some of these red flags.
Seeking out help as soon as possible will give you the largest number of possibilities, as is the situation for most forms of hearing loss. But you need to watch for more than just diabetes. Here are some other possible triggers of sudden hearing loss:
- Blood circulation issues (these are sometimes a result of other problems, such as diabetes).
- Some types of infections.
- Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
- Growth of tissue in the ear.
- Blood pressure problems.
- Autoimmune disorders.
It can be difficult to know what’s causing your sudden hearing loss or what to do about it without a medical diagnosis.
Sudden Hearing Loss Treatment Solutions
Here’s the good news, whether your sudden hearing loss is related to diabetes or infection (or any of these other problems), effective treatment of the underlying cause will often bring your hearing back to healthy levels if you catch it early. Once the obstruction is removed or, in the case of diabetes, once blood circulation problems have been addressed, your hearing will likely return to normal if you dealt with it promptly.
But quick and effective treatment is the key here. There are some disorders that can cause irreversible harm if they go untreated (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So if you’re coping with any type or amount of hearing loss, get it treated now.
Pay Attention to Your Hearing
If you get routine hearing screenings, sudden hearing loss could be easier to detect and you may stop it from sneaking up on you by catching it sooner. These screenings can typically detect specific hearing issues before they become obvious to you.
There’s one more thing that diabetes and hearing loss have in common, treating them sooner will bring better outcomes. Untreated hearing loss can result in other health concerns like loss of cognitive function. Contact us to schedule a hearing test.