Hearing loss can sneak up on you, it’s true. But there are times when hearing issues suddenly pounce you like a cat rather than sneaking up on you. Here’s a hypothetical: You wake 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 chalk it up to water in your ears, but when your hearing doesn’t get any better as the day advances, you get a bit more anxious.
It’s times like this when hearing loss seems to attack suddenly, as if out of nowhere, that it’s a smart plan to seek out some medical assistance. The reason why you should seek help is that sudden hearing loss is commonly a symptom of an underlying medical issue. It might be a simple matter of a blockage in your ear. Maybe some earwax.
But sudden hearing loss can also be a sign of diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
If you don’t immediately recognize the connection between hearing loss and diabetes that would be understandable. Your ears and your pancreas seem very far apart, distance-wise.
With type 2 diabetes, sugars in your body aren’t properly broken down and turned into energy. When your body doesn’t produce a sufficient amount of insulin or can’t process the insulin it is making, this is the result. This is why insulin injections are the most prevalent type of diabetes treatments.
What Does Diabetes Have to do With Your Hearing?
Diabetes is a common complex condition which can sometimes be degenerative. With the assistance of your doctor, it needs to be managed cautiously. But what does that have to do with your ears?
Well, it turns out that sudden hearing loss can frequently be a sign that you’re developing type 2 diabetes. 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 powerful affect on the tiny hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So even before other more well known diabetes symptoms show up (such as numb toes), you might experience sudden hearing loss.
What Should I do?
You’ii want to get medical help if your hearing has suddenly started giving you trouble. You may not even realize that you have diabetes in the beginning, but these warning signs will start to clue you in.
As is the situation with most types of hearing loss, the sooner you get treatment, the more possibilities you’ll have. But it’s not only diabetes you need to watch for. Sudden hearing loss can also be caused by:
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- Problems with blood circulation (often the result of other issues like diabetes).
- An obstruction in the ear (like an ear wax build-up).
- Issues with your blood pressure.
- Some types of infections.
- Autoimmune diseases.
It can be hard to know what’s causing your sudden hearing loss or what to do about it without a medical diagnosis.
Sudden Hearing Loss Treatment Options
Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is triggered by, if you catch it early enough, your hearing will normally go back to normal with correct treatment. 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 quick and efficient treatment. There are some conditions that can cause irreversible harm if they go untreated (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 can sneak up on you, but it might be easier to detect, and you could 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 have in common, managing them sooner will bring better outcomes. Neglected hearing loss can result in other health concerns like loss of cognitive function. Contact us to schedule a hearing test.