It’s true, hearing loss can catch you by surprise. But in some cases, hearing problems bypass the sneaking completely, 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 detect your hearing seems off or different. Maybe muffled.
Initially, you think that you have water in your ears, but when your hearing doesn’t improve as the day progresses, you get a bit more anxious.
It’s these moments when hearing loss seems to strike suddenly, as if from the shadows somewhere, that it’s a good plan to get some medical attention. That’s because sudden hearing loss can frequently be a symptom of a larger problem. In some cases, that larger problem can be an obstruction in your ear. It might be just a bit of earwax.
And sometimes that sudden hearing loss can be related to diabetes.
Diabetes – What is it?
If you don’t instantly recognize the connection between hearing loss and diabetes that would be understandable. Your ears and your pancreas seem really far apart, distance-wise.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body has trouble processing 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. This is why insulin injections are the most prevalent form of diabetes treatments.
What is The Connection Between Diabetes And Hearing?
Diabetes is a common, often degenerative (and complex), affliction. With the assistance of your doctor, it needs to be handled carefully. So how is that related to your hearing?
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 frequently 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 especially sensitive to exactly those changes. So you could experience sudden hearing loss even before other, more traditional symptoms of diabetes appear (numb toes, for example).
Is There Anything I Can Do?
You’ii want to get medical help if your hearing has suddenly started giving you trouble. You might not even realize that you have diabetes in the beginning, but these warning signs will begin to clue you in.
As is the case with most types of hearing loss, the sooner you seek out treatment, the more options you’ll have. But you need to keep an eye out for more than just diabetes. Here are a few other possible causes of sudden hearing loss:
- Blood pressure issues.
- Blood circulation issues (these are sometimes caused by other problems, such as diabetes).
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- An obstruction in the ear (such as an ear wax build-up).
- Infections of varied types.
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.
Sudden Hearing Loss Treatment Options
Here’s the good news, whether your sudden hearing loss is caused by diabetes or infection (or any of these other issues), effective management of the underlying cause will often return 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 that really does rely on prompt and efficient treatment. There are some conditions that can result in permanent harm if they go neglected (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So if you’re coping with any type or amount 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 might catch it sooner if you get regular hearing screenings. These screenings can typically detect specific hearing problems before they become obvious to you.
There’s one more thing that diabetes and hearing loss share, managing them sooner will bring better results. Neglected hearing loss can produce other health concerns such as loss of cognitive function. Call us to schedule a hearing test.