It’s true, hearing loss can catch you by surprise. But there are times when hearing issues suddenly pounce you like a cat rather than sneaking up on you. Here’s a hypothetical: You wake up one morning and jump in the shower and when you get out you detect your hearing seems 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 little concerned.
It’s times like this when hearing loss seems to attack suddenly, as if out of nowhere, that it’s a good decision to seek out some medical help. The reason why you should seek help is that sudden hearing loss is often a symptom of an underlying medical issue. It may be a simple matter of a blockage in your ear. Perhaps some earwax.
But sudden hearing loss can also be a symptom of diabetes.
Diabetes – What is it?
If you don’t immediately recognize the link between hearing loss and diabetes that would be understandable. Your pancreas seems pretty far away from your ears.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body has trouble breaking down sugars into energy. This happens because your body either isn’t making enough insulin or it’s not reacting to the insulin that you do produce. That’s why treatments for diabetes normally involve injections or infusions of insulin.
What is The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing?
Diabetes is a common, often degenerative (and complex), affliction. With the help of your physician, it needs to be managed carefully. So how is that associated with your ears?
Believe it or not, a fairly common indicator of type 2 diabetes is sudden hearing loss. Collateral damage to other parts of the body is common with diabetes which commonly has an impact on blood vessels and nerves. These exact changes have a strong affect on the delicate 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?
If you’re in this scenario, and your hearing has suddenly started acting up, you’ll certainly want to get looked at by a medical professional. You might not even know that you have diabetes in the beginning, but these red flags will start to clue you in.
Getting help as soon as possible will give you the greatest number of options, as is the case for most types of hearing loss. But it’s not just diabetes you need to be watchful for. Here are a few other possible causes of sudden hearing loss:
- Autoimmune conditions.
- Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
- Blood circulation problems (these are often a result of other problems, such as diabetes).
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- Blood pressure issues.
- Some types of infections.
Without a proper medical diagnosis, it can be challenging to figure out the cause of your sudden hearing loss and how to handle the underlying symptoms.
Treatment Options For Sudden Hearing Loss
Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is triggered by, if you identify it soon enough, your hearing will usually return to normal with proper treatment. Once the blockage is removed or, in the case of diabetes, once blood circulation problems have been managed, your hearing will most likely get back to normal if you dealt with it quickly.
But that truly does depend on prompt and effective treatment. There are some conditions that can cause irreversible harm if they go neglected (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So if you’re dealing with any type or degree of hearing loss, have it treated now.
Keep an Eye on Your Ears
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. These screenings can normally detect specific hearing problems before they become noticeable to you.
Diabetes and hearing loss have one other thing in common: the sooner you get treatment, the better. Other issues, including deterioration of cognitive function, can result from untreated hearing loss. Give us a call to schedule a hearing test.