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. 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 assume that you got some water in your ears, but as the day progresses, and there’s no difference, you begin to get a bit worried.
It’s these moments when hearing loss seems to attack suddenly, as if out of nowhere, that it’s a good decision to seek out some medical assistance. The reason why you should seek help is that sudden hearing loss is usually a symptom of an underlying medical issue. Sometimes, that larger problem can be an obstruction in your ear. Perhaps some earwax.
But sudden hearing loss can also be a sign of diabetes.
Diabetes – What is it?
You’d be forgiven for not quickly seeing the connections between hearing loss and diabetes. Your pancreas seems like it’s a long way from your ears.
Type 2 diabetes is an ailment in which your body has trouble processing sugars into energy. This happens because your body either isn’t generating 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, often degenerative (and complicated), condition. It needs to be managed carefully, usually with the help of your physician. But what does that have to do with 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. Tiny tiny hairs in your ears (called stereocilia and responsible for your ability to hear) are especially sensitive to exactly those changes. So you might experience sudden hearing loss even before other, more conventional symptoms of diabetes kick in (numb toes, for example).
Is There Anything I Can Do?
If you’re in this scenario, and your hearing has suddenly started giving you trouble, you’ll certainly want to get checked by a medical professional. You may not even know that you have diabetes in the beginning, but these warning signs will begin to clue you in.
As is the situation with most forms of hearing loss, the sooner you find treatment, the more possibilities you’ll have. But it’s not only diabetes you need to be watchful for. Here are some other possible causes of sudden hearing loss:
- Problems with your blood pressure.
- Some types of infections.
- Autoimmune conditions.
- Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
- Growth of tissue in the ear.
- Blood circulation issues (these are often caused by other issues, such as diabetes).
Without an appropriate medical diagnosis, it can be difficult to figure out what’s causing 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 caused by, if you catch it early enough, your hearing will normally return to normal with proper 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. There are some disorders that can result in irreversible damage if they go untreated (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So if you’re dealing with any type or amount of hearing loss, have it treated now.
Pay Attention to Your Hearing
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. These screenings can typically detect specific hearing issues before they become noticeable to you.
There’s one more thing that diabetes and hearing loss share, treating them sooner will bring better results. Other issues, like degeneration of cognitive function, can result from neglected hearing loss. Make an appointment with us for a hearing test right away.