Hearing loss can sneak up on you, it’s true. But there are times when hearing problems suddenly pounce you like a cat instead of sneaking up on you. It could happen like this: you get up, drag yourself out of bed, and maybe you don’t detect it until you get out of the shower but your hearing feels…off, or different Muffled, maybe.
You just suspect that you got some water in your ears, but as the day progresses, and there’s no difference, you begin to get a bit concerned.
At times like this, when you experience a sudden severe change to your hearing, you should seek 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 could be just a bit of earwax.
But sudden hearing loss can also be a symptom of diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
You’d be forgiven for not quickly seeing the links 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 trouble breaking down sugars into energy. This occurs because your body either isn’t generating enough insulin or it’s not reacting to the insulin that you do make. This is why insulin injections are the most prevalent form 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 help of your physician, it needs to be managed carefully. 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 commonly has an impact on blood vessels and nerves. Tiny hairs in your ears (called stereocilia and responsible for your ability to hear) are particularly sensitive to exactly those changes. So even before other more well known diabetes symptoms manifest (such as numb toes), you might go through sudden hearing loss.
Is There Anything I Can Do?
You’ii want to get medical help 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 forms of hearing loss, the sooner you get treatment, the more possibilities you’ll have. But it’s not just diabetes you need to be watchful for. Sudden hearing loss could be caused by:
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- Issues with blood circulation (often caused by other issues including diabetes).
- Some kinds of infections.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Problems with your blood pressure.
- A blockage in the ear (like an build-up of earwax).
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 Solutions
Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is caused by, if you identify it soon 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 quick and efficient management is the key here. If they are not treated in time, some conditions, like diabetes, will lead to irreversible harm to your hearing. So if you’re coping with any type or degree of hearing loss, have it treated now.
Keep an Eye on Your Ears
If you get regular hearing screenings, sudden hearing loss might be easier to identify and you might stop it from sneaking up on you by catching it sooner. Specific hearing issues can be identified in these screenings before you notice them.
There’s one more thing that diabetes and hearing loss share, managing them sooner will bring better outcomes. Neglected hearing loss can lead to other health concerns like loss of cognitive function. Give us a call to schedule a hearing test.