Woman testing her sugar to see if diabetes is affecting her hearing health.

It’s true, hearing loss can sneak up on you. 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, drag yourself out of bed, and perhaps you don’t detect it until you finish showering but your hearing feels…off, or different Maybe muffled.

Initially, you think that you have water in your ears, but when your hearing doesn’t get any better as the day progresses, you get a little more worried.

At times like these, when you experience a sudden severe change to your hearing, you should get medical attention. That’s because sudden hearing loss can often be a symptom of a bigger problem. It may be a simple matter of a blockage in your ear. Maybe some earwax.

And sometimes that sudden hearing loss can be caused by diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

If you don’t instantly recognize the connection between hearing loss and diabetes that would be understandable. Your pancreas seems like it’s a long way from your ears.

With type 2 diabetes, sugars in your body aren’t properly broken down and converted into energy. When your body doesn’t produce a sufficient amount of insulin or can’t process the insulin it is making, this is the outcome. That’s why treatments for diabetes usually entail injections or infusions of insulin.

What is The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing?

Diabetes is a common, often degenerative (and complicated), condition. With the assistance of your doctor, it has to be handled cautiously. 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. The connection lies in the ability of diabetes to cause collateral damage, frequently to nerves and blood vessels around the extremities. These exact changes have a strong affect on the delicate hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So even before other more well known diabetes symptoms show up (such as numb toes), you could go through sudden hearing loss.

What Should I do?

If you’re in this scenario, and your hearing has suddenly begun giving you trouble, you’ll definitely want to get looked at by a medical professional. You might not even know that you have diabetes at first, but these red flags will begin to clue you in.

As is the situation with most forms of hearing loss, the sooner you get treatment, the more options you’ll have. But you should watch out for more than just diabetes. Sudden hearing loss can also be caused by:

  • Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
  • Infections of varied types.
  • Blood circulation problems (these are often caused by other issues, such as diabetes).
  • Growth of tissue in the ear.
  • Autoimmune diseases.
  • Blood pressure problems.

Without a proper medical diagnosis, it can be difficult to figure out what’s causing your sudden hearing loss and how to address the root symptoms.

Sudden Hearing Loss Treatment Solutions

Here’s the good news, whether your sudden hearing loss is caused by diabetes or infection (or any of these other issues), successful management of the underlying cause will often bring your hearing back to healthy levels if you catch it early. Once the obstruction is removed or, in the case of diabetes, once blood circulation problems have been addressed, your hearing will likely return to normal if you addressed it quickly.

But quick and efficient treatment is the key here. There are some conditions that can cause permanent damage if they go neglected (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So it’s vital that you get medical treatment as quickly as possible, 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 may be easier to detect, and you might catch it sooner if you undergo regular hearing screenings. These screenings can normally uncover specific hearing issues before they become noticeable to you.

Hearing loss and diabetes have one other thing in common: it’s best to get them treated as soon as possible. Other issues, including deterioration of cognitive function, can result from untreated hearing loss. Make an appointment with us for a hearing test right away.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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