It’s true, hearing loss can sneak up on you. But there are times when hearing problems suddenly pounce you like a cat instead of sneaking up on you. It could happen like this: you wake up, pull yourself out of bed, and perhaps you don’t notice until you finish showering but your hearing feels…off, or different Maybe muffled.
You just suspect that you got some water in your ears, but as the day continues, and there’s no difference, you begin to get a bit concerned.
It’s these moments when hearing loss seems to attack suddenly, as if out of nowhere, that it’s a good plan to get some medical attention. That’s because sudden hearing loss can frequently be a symptom of a larger problem. It might be a simple matter of an obstruction in your ear. Perhaps some earwax.
But sudden hearing loss can also be a sign of diabetes.
Diabetes – What is it?
If you don’t immediately identify the connection between hearing loss and diabetes that would be understandable. Your pancreas seems pretty far away from your ears.
With type 2 diabetes, sugars in your body aren’t properly broken down and converted into energy. This happens because your body either isn’t making enough insulin or it’s not responding to the insulin that you do produce. That’s why treatments for diabetes usually entail injections or infusions of insulin.
What is The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing?
Diabetes is a common complex condition which can often be degenerative. It needs to be handled carefully, usually with the help of your doctor. So how is that related to your hearing?
Believe it or not, a fairly common sign of type 2 diabetes is sudden hearing loss. Collateral damage to other areas of the body is common with diabetes which frequently has an impact on blood vessels and nerves. These precise changes have a powerful impact on the delicate hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So you might experience sudden hearing loss even before other, more traditional symptoms of diabetes appear (numb toes, for example).
Is There Anything I Can Do?
If you’re in this scenario, and your hearing has suddenly begun giving you trouble, you’ll certainly want to get examined by a medical professional. Diabetes, for example, will frequently be totally symptomless initially, so you may not even recognize you have it until you begin to notice some of these warning signs.
Getting help as soon as possible will give you the largest number of possibilities, as is the situation for most types of hearing loss. But you should watch for more than just diabetes. Sudden hearing loss can also be caused by:
- Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- Problems with blood circulation (sometimes the consequence of other issues like diabetes).
- Issues with your blood pressure.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Infections of various types.
Without an appropriate medical diagnosis, it can be difficult to figure out what’s causing your sudden hearing loss and how to handle the underlying symptoms.
Treatment Options For Sudden Hearing Loss
Here’s the good news, whether your sudden hearing loss is brought on by diabetes or infection (or any of these other issues), successful management of the underlying cause will often bring your hearing back to healthy levels if you recognize it early. If you promptly address the problem, your hearing is likely to return to normal once the blockage is removed, or in the case of diabetes, once you address the circulation problems.
But quick and effective management is the key here. If they are not treated in time, some conditions, including diabetes, will lead to permanent harm to your hearing. So it’s essential that you seek out medical treatment as quickly as you can, and if you’re suffering from hearing loss get that treated.
Keep an Eye on Your Ears
If you undergo regular hearing screenings, sudden hearing loss could be easier to identify and you may stop it from sneaking up on you by catching it sooner. These screenings can normally uncover specific hearing issues before they become obvious to you.
Diabetes and hearing loss have one other thing in common: the sooner you get treatment, the better. Untreated hearing loss can produce other health concerns such as loss of cognitive function. Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test right away.