It’s true, hearing loss can catch you by surprise. But there are times when hearing problems suddenly pounce you like a cat instead of 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. Muffled, maybe.
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 little worried.
It’s times like this when hearing loss seems to strike suddenly, as if out of nowhere, that it’s a good decision to get some medical assistance. The reason why you should seek help is that sudden hearing loss is commonly a symptom of an underlying medical problem. It might be a simple matter of a blockage in your ear. It might be just a bit of earwax.
And sometimes that sudden hearing loss can be related to diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
If you don’t instantly identify the connection between hearing loss and diabetes that would be understandable. Your ears and your pancreas seem very far apart, distance-wise.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body has difficulty processing sugars into energy. This occurs because your body either isn’t producing enough insulin or it’s not responding to the insulin that you do produce. That’s why treatments for diabetes usually involve injections or infusions of insulin.
What is The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing?
Diabetes is a common complicated affliction which can sometimes be degenerative. With the assistance of your doctor, it has to be managed carefully. So how is that associated with your hearing?
Believe it or not, a pretty common sign of type 2 diabetes is sudden hearing loss. The connection is based on the ability of diabetes to create collateral damage, frequently to nerves and blood vessels around the extremities. These exact changes have a strong affect on the delicate hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So you may experience sudden hearing loss even before other, more traditional symptoms of diabetes kick in (numb toes, for instance).
What Should I do?
You’ii want to get medical help if your hearing has suddenly started acting up. You may not even realize that you have diabetes at first, but these warning signs will start to clue you in.
Seeking out help as soon as possible will give you the largest number of possibilities, as is the case for most types of hearing loss. But you need to keep an eye out for more than just diabetes. Sudden hearing loss could be caused by:
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Problems with blood circulation (often the result of other issues including diabetes).
- Some types of infections.
- Problems with your blood pressure.
- Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
Without an appropriate medical diagnosis, it can be challenging to figure out the cause of your sudden hearing loss and how to handle the underlying symptoms.
Treatment Solutions 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 problems), effective treatment of the underlying cause will often bring your hearing back to normal 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 efficient management is the key here. There are some disorders that can result in irreversible harm if they go neglected (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So if you’re coping with any type or degree of hearing loss, get it treated now.
Pay Attention to Your Hearing
Sudden hearing loss catch you by surprise, but it might be easier to detect, and you could catch it sooner if you undergo regular hearing screenings. These screenings can usually uncover specific hearing problems before they become noticeable to you.
There’s one more thing that diabetes and hearing loss have in common, managing them sooner will bring better results. Other issues, like degeneration of cognitive function, can result from untreated hearing loss. Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing assessment right away.