It’s true, hearing loss can sneak up on you. But there are times when hearing issues suddenly pounce you like a cat instead of sneaking up on you. It could happen like this: you wake 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 Maybe muffled.
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 concerned.
It’s times like this when hearing loss seems to attack suddenly, as if from the shadows somewhere, that it’s a smart idea to seek out some medical attention. That’s because sudden hearing loss can frequently be a symptom of a larger issue. It could be a simple matter of an obstruction in your ear. Maybe some earwax.
But sudden hearing loss can also be a symptom of diabetes.
Diabetes – What is it?
You’d be forgiven for not instantly seeing the links between hearing loss and diabetes. Your pancreas seems like it’s pretty far away from your ears.
Type 2 diabetes is an ailment in which your body has difficulty breaking down 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 Does Diabetes Have to do With Your Hearing?
Diabetes is a common, sometimes degenerative (and complex), affliction. With the help of your doctor, it needs to be handled cautiously. So how is that associated with your ears?
Well, it turns out that sudden hearing loss can frequently be an indication that you’re experiencing type 2 diabetes. Collateral damage to other areas of the body is common with diabetes which frequently has an impact on blood vessels and nerves. These exact changes have a strong impact on the delicate hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So you may suffer sudden hearing loss even before other, more traditional symptoms of diabetes kick in (numb toes, for instance).
Is There Anything I Can Do?
If you’re in this situation, and your hearing has suddenly started acting up, you’ll definitely want to get checked by a medical professional. Diabetes, for example, will often be entirely symptomless initially, so you might not even recognize you have it until you start to observe some of these red flags.
As is the case with most types of hearing loss, the sooner you get treatment, the more possibilities you’ll have. But you need to watch out for more than just diabetes. Here are some other possible causes of sudden hearing loss:
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- A blockage in the ear (like an build-up of earwax).
- Some kinds of infections.
- Autoimmune conditions.
- Blood pressure problems.
- Issues with blood circulation (often the consequence of other problems like diabetes).
It can be tough to know what’s causing your sudden hearing loss or what you should do about it without a medical diagnosis.
Sudden Hearing Loss Treatment Solutions
Here’s the good news, whether your sudden hearing loss is related to diabetes or infection (or any of these other issues), successful management of the underlying cause will often bring your hearing back to normal levels if you recognize it early. Once the obstruction is removed or, in the case of diabetes, once blood circulation issues have been addressed, your hearing will most likely return to normal if you addressed it quickly.
But quick and effective treatment is the key here. If they are not addressed in time, some conditions, including diabetes, will bring about permanent harm to your hearing. So if you’re dealing with any type or amount of hearing loss, have it treated now.
Keep an Eye on Your Ears
Sudden hearing loss can sneak up on you, but it might be easier to detect, and you could catch it sooner if you undergo regular hearing screenings. Specific hearing problems can be detected in these screenings before you observe them.
There’s one more thing that diabetes and hearing loss share, managing them sooner will bring better outcomes. Other problems, like degeneration of cognitive function, can result from neglected hearing loss. Contact us to schedule a hearing test.