It’s true, hearing loss can sneak up on you. But in some cases, hearing issues bypass the sneaking altogether, in favor of a sudden (and often startling), cat-like pounce. Here’s a hypothetical: You get up one morning and jump in the shower and when you get out you notice your hearing seems off or different. Maybe muffled.
You just assume that you got some water in your ears, but as the day continues, and there’s no improvement, you begin to get a bit worried.
It’s times like this when hearing loss seems to attack suddenly, as if out of nowhere, that it’s a smart decision to get some medical assistance. The reason why you should get help is that sudden hearing loss is usually a symptom of an underlying medical issue. In some cases, that larger issue can be a blockage in your ear. Maybe some earwax.
And sometimes that sudden hearing loss can be caused by diabetes.
Diabetes – What is it?
You’d be forgiven for not immediately seeing the links between hearing loss and diabetes. Your pancreas and your ears seem very far apart, distance-wise.
Type 2 diabetes is an ailment in which your body has difficulty breaking down sugars into energy. When your body doesn’t make a sufficient amount of insulin or can’t process the insulin it is producing, this is the result. This is why insulin injections are the most common type of diabetes treatments.
What Does Diabetes Have to do With Your Hearing?
Diabetes is a common complex affliction which can sometimes be degenerative. It needs to be managed cautiously, in most cases with the help of your doctor. So how is that associated with your ears?
Believe it or not, a pretty common sign of type 2 diabetes is sudden hearing loss. Collateral damage to other areas of the body is common with diabetes which commonly has an impact on blood vessels and nerves. These precise changes have a powerful impact on the tiny hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So you could suffer sudden hearing loss even before other, more traditional symptoms of diabetes kick in (numb toes, for example).
Is There Anything I Can Do?
You’ii want to get medical attention if your hearing has suddenly started giving you trouble. You might not even know that you have diabetes in the beginning, but these warning signs will begin to clue you in.
Getting help as soon as possible will give you the greatest number of possibilities, as is the situation for most forms of hearing loss. But it’s not just diabetes you need to watch for. Sudden hearing loss can also be caused by:
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- Infections of various types.
- Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
- Problems with blood circulation (sometimes the consequence of other problems including diabetes).
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Issues with your blood pressure.
Without a proper medical diagnosis, it can be challenging to figure out the cause of your sudden hearing loss and how to treat the underlying symptoms.
Treatment Solutions For Sudden Hearing Loss
Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is caused by, if you catch it soon enough, your hearing will usually return to normal with correct treatment. Once the obstruction is removed or, in the case of diabetes, once blood circulation problems have been addressed, your hearing will likely get back to normal if you addressed it quickly.
But that truly does rely on prompt and effective treatment. If they are not addressed in time, some conditions, like diabetes, will result in permanent harm to your hearing. So if you’re dealing with any type or amount of hearing loss, have it treated now.
Keep an Eye on Your Ears
If you get routine hearing screenings, sudden hearing loss may be easier to identify and you may stop it from sneaking up on you by catching it sooner. Specific hearing issues can be identified in these screenings before you notice them.
Hearing loss and diabetes have one other thing in common: the sooner you get treatment, the better. Other issues, like deterioration of cognitive function, can result from neglected hearing loss. Contact us to schedule a hearing test.