Hearing loss can sneak up on you, it’s true. But there are times when hearing issues suddenly pounce you like a cat instead of sneaking up on you. It could happen like this: you get up, drag yourself out of bed, and perhaps you don’t notice until you get out of the shower but your hearing feels…off, or different Muffled, maybe.
Initially, you chalk it up to water in your ears, but when your hearing doesn’t improve as the day progresses, you get a little more concerned.
It’s these moments when hearing loss seems to strike suddenly, as if from the shadows somewhere, that it’s a smart plan to get some medical attention. The reason why you should seek help is that sudden hearing loss is usually a symptom of an underlying medical issue. In some cases, that larger problem can be an obstruction in your ear. Perhaps some earwax.
But sudden hearing loss can also be a symptom of diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
If you don’t instantly identify the connection between hearing loss and diabetes that would be understandable. Your pancreas seems a long way from your ears.
Type 2 diabetes is an ailment in which your body has difficulty breaking down sugars into energy. When your body doesn’t generate a sufficient amount of insulin or can’t process the insulin it is producing, this is the outcome. That’s why treatments for diabetes normally entail injections or infusions of insulin.
What is The Connection Between Diabetes And Hearing?
Diabetes is a common complicated affliction which can often be degenerative. With the help of your doctor, it needs to be managed cautiously. But what does that have to do with your hearing?
Well, it turns out that sudden hearing loss can frequently be an indication that you’re experiencing type 2 diabetes. Collateral damage to other areas of the body is common with diabetes which often has an affect on blood vessels and nerves. Tiny tiny hairs in your ears (called stereocilia and in control of your ability to hear) are particularly sensitive to exactly those changes. So you might suffer sudden hearing loss even before other, more conventional symptoms of diabetes kick in (numb toes, for example).
What Should I do?
If you’re in this situation, and your hearing has suddenly begun acting up, you’ll definitely want to get looked at by a medical professional. Diabetes, for instance, will frequently be totally symptomless initially, so you may not even recognize you have it until you start to see some of these red flags.
Seeking out help as soon as possible will give you the greatest number of options, as is the situation for most forms of hearing loss. But it’s not just diabetes you need to watch for. Here are some other possible triggers of sudden hearing loss:
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Issues with your blood pressure.
- Blood circulation issues (these are sometimes a result of other issues, such as diabetes).
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- Infections of various types.
- Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
Without a proper medical diagnosis, it can be challenging to figure out what’s causing your sudden hearing loss and how to address the underlying symptoms.
Sudden Hearing Loss Treatment Solutions
Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is caused by, if you identify it soon enough, your hearing will typically return to normal with proper treatment. Once the blockage is removed or, in the case of diabetes, once blood circulation issues have been managed, your hearing will likely return to normal if you addressed it promptly.
But quick and efficient treatment is the key here. There are some disorders that can cause 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, have it treated now.
Pay Attention to Your Hearing
If you undergo routine hearing screenings, sudden hearing loss might be easier to identify and you may stop it from sneaking up on you by catching it sooner. Specific hearing problems can be detected 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 problems, like degeneration of cognitive function, can result from neglected hearing loss. Call us to schedule a hearing test.