Hearing loss can catch you by surprise, it’s true. But there are times when hearing problems suddenly pounce you like a cat rather than sneaking up on you. Here’s a hypothetical: You get up one morning and jump in the shower and when you get out you notice 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 improvement, you begin to get a little concerned.
It’s times like this when hearing loss seems to attack suddenly, as if from the shadows somewhere, that it’s a smart idea 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 problem. Sometimes, that larger issue can be an obstruction in your ear. It might be just a bit of earwax.
But sudden hearing loss can also be a symptom of 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 difficulty processing sugars into energy. When your body doesn’t make a sufficient amount of insulin or can’t process the insulin it is making, this is the outcome. 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 complex), affliction. With the help of your physician, it needs to be handled 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 frequently 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 may suffer sudden hearing loss even before other, more conventional symptoms of diabetes kick in (numb toes, for example).
Is There Anything I Can Do?
You’ii want to get medical help if your hearing has suddenly started giving you trouble. You might not even be aware that you have diabetes in the beginning, but these warning signs will start to clue you in.
As is the case with most forms of hearing loss, the sooner you seek out treatment, the more options you’ll have. But it’s not just diabetes you need to watch for. Here are a few other possible causes of sudden hearing loss:
- Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
- Infections of various types.
- Tissue growth in the ear.
- Blood circulation problems (these are sometimes caused by other problems, such as diabetes).
- Issues with your blood pressure.
- Autoimmune conditions.
Without an appropriate medical diagnosis, it can be difficult to figure out the cause of your sudden hearing loss and how to address the root symptoms.
Treatment Solutions For Sudden Hearing Loss
Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is caused by, if you identify it early enough, your hearing will typically go back to normal with correct 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 that truly does rely on quick and efficient treatment. If they are not addressed in time, some conditions, like diabetes, will result in irreversible damage to your hearing. So it’s vital that you get medical treatment as quickly as possible, and if you’re experiencing hearing loss get that treated.
Keep an Eye on Your Ears
Sudden hearing loss catch you by surprise, but it may be easier to detect, and you could catch it sooner if you get regular hearing screenings. These screenings can usually uncover specific hearing issues before they become obvious to you.
Diabetes and hearing loss have one other thing in common: it’s best to get them treated as soon as possible. Neglected hearing loss can result in other health concerns like loss of cognitive function. Give us a call to schedule a hearing test.