It’s true, hearing loss can sneak up on you. But in some cases, hearing issues bypass the sneaking entirely, in favor of a sudden (and often alarming), cat-like pounce. 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.
Initially, you chalk it up to water in your ears, but when your hearing doesn’t improve as the day advances, you get a bit more anxious.
It’s these moments when hearing loss seems to strike suddenly, as if out of nowhere, that it’s a smart plan 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. It could be a simple matter of an obstruction in your ear. Maybe some earwax.
And sometimes that sudden hearing loss can be linked to diabetes.
Diabetes – What is it?
You’d be forgiven for not immediately seeing the links between hearing loss and diabetes. Your pancreas seems like it’s a long way from your ears.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body has difficulty breaking down sugars into energy. This happens because your body either isn’t making enough insulin or it’s not responding to the insulin that you do make. That’s why treatments for diabetes normally entail injections or infusions of insulin.
What is The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing?
Diabetes is a common complicated affliction which can sometimes be degenerative. It needs to be managed carefully, usually with the help of your physician. So how is that associated with your ears?
Believe it or not, a pretty common indicator 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. Tiny hairs in your ears (called stereocilia and responsible for your ability to hear) are particularly sensitive to exactly those changes. So even before other more common diabetes symptoms show up (such as numb toes), you could go through sudden hearing loss.
What Should I do?
You’ii want to get medical help if your hearing has suddenly started giving you trouble. Diabetes, for example, will often be entirely symptomless at first, so you might not even recognize you have it until you begin to notice some of these red flags.
Getting help as soon as possible will give you the greatest number of options, as is the situation for most forms of hearing loss. But you need to watch out for more than just diabetes. Sudden hearing loss can also be caused by:
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- Some kinds of infections.
- Problems with your blood pressure.
- Autoimmune conditions.
- Blood circulation issues (these are sometimes a result of other issues, such as diabetes).
- A blockage in the ear (such as an ear wax build-up).
Without an appropriate medical diagnosis, it can be challenging to figure out what’s causing your sudden hearing loss and how to treat the underlying symptoms.
Treatment Solutions For Sudden Hearing Loss
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 usually bring your hearing back to normal levels if you catch 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 treatment is the key here. If they are not addressed in time, some conditions, like diabetes, will bring about permanent harm to your hearing. So if you’re dealing with any type or degree of hearing loss, get it treated now.
Keep an Eye on Your Ears
If you get routine hearing screenings, sudden hearing loss might be easier to identify and you might stop it from sneaking up on you by detecting it sooner. Specific hearing problems can be identified in these screenings before you notice them.
Diabetes and hearing loss have one other thing in common: the sooner you get treatment, the better. Other issues, like degeneration of cognitive function, can result from untreated hearing loss. Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing assessment right away.