It’s true, hearing loss can catch you by surprise. 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 wake up, pull 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 Maybe muffled.
You just suspect that you got some water in your ears, but as the day continues, and there’s no difference, you begin to get a little concerned.
It’s these moments when hearing loss seems to strike suddenly, as if out of nowhere, that it’s a smart decision to seek out some medical assistance. The reason why you should get help is that sudden hearing loss is usually a symptom of an underlying medical problem. It could be a simple matter of an obstruction in your ear. It may be just a bit of earwax.
And sometimes that sudden hearing loss can be caused by diabetes.
Diabetes – What is it?
You’d be forgiven for not instantly seeing the links between hearing loss and diabetes. Your ears and your pancreas seem really far apart, distance-wise.
With type 2 diabetes, sugars in your body aren’t efficiently broken down and converted into energy. When your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t process the insulin it is producing, this is the result. This is why insulin injections are the most common form of diabetes treatments.
What is The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing?
Diabetes is a common, sometimes degenerative (and complex), affliction. With the help of your physician, it has to be managed carefully. But what does that have to do with your hearing?
Believe it or not, a pretty common sign of type 2 diabetes is sudden hearing loss. Collateral damage to other parts of the body is common with diabetes which often has an affect on blood vessels and nerves. These exact changes have a strong affect on the little hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So you may experience 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 situation, and your hearing has suddenly begun giving you trouble, you’ll certainly want to get checked by a medical professional. You may not even realize that you have diabetes in the beginning, but these warning signs will start to clue you in.
Getting help as soon as possible will give you the largest number of options, as is the case for most types of hearing loss. But you should watch for more than just diabetes. Here are some other possible causes of sudden hearing loss:
- An obstruction in the ear (like an ear wax build-up).
- Blood pressure problems.
- Blood circulation issues (these are often a result of other problems, such as diabetes).
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- Some types of infections.
- Autoimmune disorders.
It can be hard to know what’s causing your sudden hearing loss or what you should do about it without a medical diagnosis.
Sudden Hearing Loss Treatment Options
Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is triggered by, if you catch it early enough, your hearing will normally return to normal with correct treatment. Once the blockage is removed or, in the case of diabetes, once blood circulation problems have been managed, your hearing will very likely return to normal if you dealt with it quickly.
But that truly does depend on quick and efficient treatment. There are some disorders that can result in irreversible damage if they go neglected (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So it’s vital that you seek out medical treatment as quickly as you can, and if you’re experiencing hearing loss get that treated.
Pay Attention to Your Hearing
Sudden hearing loss can sneak up on you, but it may be easier to detect, and you might catch it sooner if you undergo regular hearing screenings. Specific hearing problems can be identified in these screenings before you observe them.
Diabetes and hearing loss have one other thing in common: it’s best to get them treated as soon as possible. Other issues, like deterioration of cognitive function, can result from untreated hearing loss. Contact us to schedule a hearing test.