It’s true, hearing loss can catch you by surprise. But occasionally, hearing issues bypass the sneaking entirely, in favor of a sudden (and often startling), cat-like pounce. It could happen like this: you get up, drag yourself out of bed, and perhaps you don’t detect it until you finish showering but your hearing feels…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 difference, you start to get a little worried.
At times like these, when you experience a sudden drastic difference in your hearing, you should seek out medical help. That’s because sudden hearing loss can often be a symptom of a bigger issue. In some cases, that larger problem can be a blockage in your ear. It could be just a bit of earwax.
But sudden hearing loss can also be a symptom of diabetes.
Diabetes – What is it?
You’d be forgiven for not immediately seeing the connections between hearing loss and diabetes. Your pancreas seems pretty far away from your ears.
With type 2 diabetes, sugars in your body aren’t properly broken down and turned into energy. When your body doesn’t make a sufficient amount of insulin or can’t process the insulin it is making, this is the outcome. This is why insulin injections are the most common form of diabetes treatments.
What is The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing?
Diabetes is a common, often degenerative (and complicated), condition. It needs to be managed cautiously, normally with the help of your physician. So how is that associated with 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 affect on blood vessels and nerves. These precise changes have a strong affect on the delicate hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). 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 scenario, and your hearing has suddenly started acting up, you’ll certainly want to get looked over by a medical professional. Diabetes, for instance, will frequently be entirely symptomless initially, so you might not even recognize you have it until you begin to see some of these red flags.
As is the situation with most forms of hearing loss, the sooner you seek out treatment, the more options you’ll have. But it’s not only diabetes you need to be watchful for. Sudden hearing loss can also be caused by:
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- An obstruction in the ear (such as an build-up of earwax).
- Infections of varied types.
- Autoimmune conditions.
- Blood pressure problems.
- Blood circulation problems (these are often a result of other problems, like diabetes).
It can be tough to know what’s causing your sudden hearing loss or what you should do about it without a medical diagnosis.
Sudden Hearing Loss Treatment Solutions
Here’s the good news, whether your sudden hearing loss is caused by diabetes or infection (or any of these other problems), successful management of the underlying cause will often return your hearing back to healthy 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 that truly does depend on prompt and efficient treatment. If they are not treated in time, some conditions, including diabetes, will lead to irreversible damage to your hearing. So it’s vital that you find medical treatment as quickly as you can, and if you’re experiencing hearing loss get that treated.
Pay Attention to Your Hearing
If you get regular 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 problems can be detected in these screenings before you notice them.
There’s one more thing that diabetes and hearing loss have in common, treating them sooner will bring better outcomes. Untreated hearing loss can lead to other health concerns such as loss of cognitive function. Call us to schedule a hearing test.