It’s true, hearing loss can sneak up on you. But in some cases, hearing issues bypass the sneaking completely, in favor of a sudden (and often startling), cat-like pounce. 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. Maybe muffled.
At first, you think that you have water in your ears, but when your hearing doesn’t improve as the day progresses, you get a little more anxious.
It’s times like this when hearing loss seems to strike suddenly, as if from the shadows somewhere, that it’s a smart idea to get some medical attention. The reason why you should get help is that sudden hearing loss is commonly a symptom of an underlying medical issue. It might 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 related to diabetes.
Diabetes – What is it?
If you don’t instantly identify the link between hearing loss and diabetes that would be understandable. Your pancreas seems like it’s pretty far away from your ears.
Type 2 diabetes is an ailment in which your body has trouble processing sugars into energy. When your body doesn’t generate enough insulin or can’t process the insulin it is making, this is the result. 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 complex affliction which can often be degenerative. With the assistance of your physician, it needs to be handled carefully. So how is that related to your ears?
Well, it turns out that sudden hearing loss can often be a sign that you’re developing 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 even before other more widely recognized diabetes symptoms show up (such as numb toes), you might go through sudden hearing loss.
What Should I do?
You’ii want to get medical help if your hearing has suddenly started acting up. You may not even know that you have diabetes in the beginning, but these warning signs will start to clue you in.
As is the case with most types of hearing loss, the sooner you find treatment, the more options you’ll have. But you should keep an eye out for more than just diabetes. Here are a few other possible causes of sudden hearing loss:
- Blood circulation problems (these are sometimes caused by other issues, such as diabetes).
- Growth of tissue in the ear.
- Blood pressure problems.
- Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
- Infections of varied types.
- Autoimmune disorders.
Without a proper medical diagnosis, it can be challenging to figure out the cause of your sudden hearing loss and how to treat the underlying symptoms.
Sudden Hearing Loss Treatment Solutions
Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is triggered by, if you catch it soon enough, your hearing will typically return to normal with correct treatment. Once the obstruction is removed or, in the case of diabetes, once blood circulation problems have been addressed, your hearing will most likely return to normal if you dealt with it quickly.
But quick and efficient management is the key here. There are some disorders that can cause irreversible damage if they go neglected (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So it’s essential that you seek out medical treatment as quickly as possible, and if you’re experiencing hearing loss get that treated.
Keep an Eye on Your Ears
If you get regular hearing screenings, sudden hearing loss could be easier to detect and you might stop it from sneaking up on you by detecting it sooner. Specific hearing problems can be detected in these screenings before you notice them.
There’s one more thing that diabetes and hearing loss share, managing them sooner will bring better results. Other problems, like degeneration of cognitive function, can result from untreated hearing loss. Call us to schedule a hearing test.