It’s true, hearing loss can catch you by surprise. But there are times when hearing problems suddenly pounce you like a cat rather than sneaking up on you. 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.
You just suspect that you got some water in your ears, but as the day progresses, and there’s no improvement, you begin to get a bit concerned.
It’s these moments when hearing loss seems to strike suddenly, as if out of nowhere, that it’s a good plan to get some medical attention. The reason why you should get help is that sudden hearing loss is often a symptom of an underlying medical problem. It could be a simple matter of an obstruction in your ear. It might be just a bit of earwax.
But sudden hearing loss can also be a sign of diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
You’d be forgiven for not instantly seeing the connections between hearing loss and diabetes. Your pancreas and your ears seem very far apart, distance-wise.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body has difficulty processing sugars into energy. This occurs because your body either isn’t producing enough insulin or it’s not responding to the insulin that you do make. This is why insulin injections are the most common type of diabetes treatments.
What Does Diabetes Have to do With Your Hearing?
Diabetes is a common, sometimes degenerative (and complex), affliction. It needs to be managed cautiously, normally with the help of your physician. But what does that have to do with your ears?
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 often has an affect on blood vessels and nerves. These precise changes have a powerful impact on the tiny hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So even before other more common diabetes symptoms manifest (like numb toes), you might go through sudden hearing loss.
Is There Anything I Can Do?
You’ii want to get medical attention if your hearing has suddenly started giving you trouble. You may not even be aware 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 find treatment, the more options you’ll have. But you need to keep an eye out for more than just diabetes. Here are some other possible causes of sudden hearing loss:
- Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- Blood pressure issues.
- Blood circulation issues (these are sometimes a result of other issues, like diabetes).
- Some kinds of infections.
- Autoimmune diseases.
Without an appropriate medical diagnosis, it can be difficult to figure out the cause of your sudden hearing loss and how to handle the root symptoms.
Sudden Hearing Loss Treatment Solutions
Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is triggered by, if you identify it early enough, your hearing will usually go back to normal with correct treatment. Once the obstruction is removed or, with diabetes, once blood circulation problems have been managed, your hearing will very likely get back to normal if you addressed it promptly.
But that really does rely on quick and effective treatment. There are some disorders that can result in 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.
Keep an Eye on Your Ears
Sudden hearing loss catch you by surprise, but it may be easier to detect, and you might catch it sooner if you undergo regular hearing screenings. Specific hearing issues can be identified in these screenings before you notice them.
Diabetes and hearing loss have one other thing in common: it’s best to get them treated as soon as possible. Untreated hearing loss can result in other health concerns such as loss of cognitive function. Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing assessment right away.