Hearing loss can sneak up on you, it’s true. But there are times when hearing issues suddenly pounce you like a cat instead of sneaking up on you. Here’s a hypothetical: You wake up one morning and jump in the shower and when you get out you notice your hearing seems off or different. Muffled, maybe.
You just suspect that you got some water in your ears, but as the day continues, and there’s no improvement, you begin to get a little worried.
At times like this, when you experience a sudden profound change to your hearing, you should get medical attention. That’s because sudden hearing loss can often be a symptom of a larger issue. In some cases, that larger problem can be an obstruction in your ear. It could be just a bit of earwax.
But sudden hearing loss can also be a sign of diabetes.
Diabetes – What is it?
You’d be forgiven for not instantly seeing the links between hearing loss and diabetes. Your pancreas and your ears seem really far apart, distance-wise.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body has trouble breaking down sugars into energy. When your body doesn’t generate 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 common form of diabetes treatments.
What is The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing?
Diabetes is a common complicated condition which can often be degenerative. With the help of your doctor, it needs to be managed cautiously. So how is that related to your hearing?
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 often has an affect on blood vessels and nerves. These precise changes have a strong impact on the tiny hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So you might suffer 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 attention if your hearing has suddenly started acting up. You might not even be aware that you have diabetes in the beginning, but these warning signs will start to clue you in.
As is the case with most types of hearing loss, the sooner you seek out treatment, the more possibilities you’ll have. But it’s not just diabetes you need to watch for. Sudden hearing loss can also be caused by:
- Problems with blood circulation (sometimes the result of other issues like diabetes).
- An obstruction in the ear (like an build-up of earwax).
- Growth of tissue in the ear.
- Infections of various types.
- Autoimmune conditions.
- Issues with your blood pressure.
Without a proper medical diagnosis, it can be challenging to figure out the cause of your sudden hearing loss and how to treat the underlying symptoms.
Treatment Solutions For Sudden Hearing Loss
Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is caused by, if you identify it soon enough, your hearing will typically 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 quick and efficient management is the key here. If they are not addressed in time, some conditions, like diabetes, will bring about irreversible harm 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 undergo regular hearing screenings, sudden hearing loss may be easier to identify and you may stop it from sneaking up on you by detecting it sooner. Specific hearing issues can be detected in these screenings before you notice them.
Diabetes and hearing loss have one other thing in common: the sooner you get treatment, the better. Untreated hearing loss can lead to other health concerns like loss of cognitive function. Call us to schedule a hearing test.