Hearing loss can catch you by surprise, it’s true. But occasionally, hearing problems bypass the sneaking completely, in favor of a sudden (and often alarming), cat-like pounce. It could happen like this: you get up, drag yourself out of bed, and perhaps you don’t detect it until you get out of the shower but your hearing feels…off, or different Muffled, maybe.
Initially, you think that you have water in your ears, but when your hearing doesn’t improve as the day advances, you get a bit more concerned.
It’s these moments when hearing loss seems to attack suddenly, as if out of nowhere, that it’s a good idea to get some medical assistance. The reason why you should get help is that sudden hearing loss is commonly a symptom of an underlying medical issue. At times, that larger issue can be an obstruction in your ear. It might 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 immediately seeing the links between hearing loss and diabetes. Your pancreas seems like it’s pretty far away from your ears.
With type 2 diabetes, sugars in your body aren’t efficiently broken down and converted into energy. This happens 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 common type of diabetes treatments.
What is The Connection Between Diabetes And Hearing?
Diabetes is a common, sometimes degenerative (and complicated), affliction. With the assistance of your doctor, it needs to be managed carefully. 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 experiencing type 2 diabetes. Collateral damage to other parts of the body is common with diabetes which often has an affect on blood vessels and nerves. Tiny tiny hairs in your ears (called stereocilia and in control of your ability to hear) are particularly sensitive to those exact changes. So you might suffer sudden hearing loss even before other, more conventional symptoms of diabetes appear (numb toes, for example).
Is There Anything I Can Do?
If you’re in this scenario, and your hearing has suddenly begun acting up, you’ll certainly want to get examined by a medical professional. Diabetes, for instance, will often be entirely symptomless at first, so you might not even recognize you have it until you begin to observe some of these red flags.
Getting help as soon as possible will give you the greatest number of possibilities, as is the situation for most forms of hearing loss. But you should watch out for more than just diabetes. Sudden hearing loss could be caused by:
- Autoimmune disorders.
- Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
- Some types of infections.
- Problems with your blood pressure.
- Blood circulation problems (these are sometimes caused by other problems, like diabetes).
- Tissue growth in the ear.
Without a proper medical diagnosis, it can be challenging to figure out the cause of your sudden hearing loss and how to address the underlying symptoms.
Treatment Options 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 normally return 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 treatment is the key here. If they are not treated in time, some conditions, like diabetes, will result in permanent damage to your hearing. So it’s vital that you get medical treatment as quickly as you can, and if you’re suffering from hearing loss get that treated.
Pay Attention to Your Hearing
Sudden hearing loss catch you by surprise, but it might be easier to detect, and you might catch it sooner if you get regular hearing screenings. Specific hearing issues can be identified in these screenings before you notice them.
Hearing loss and diabetes have one other thing in common: the sooner you get treatment, the better. Neglected hearing loss can trigger other health concerns like loss of cognitive function. Give us a call to schedule a hearing test.