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

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 wake up one morning and go into the shower and when you get out you detect your hearing seems off or different. Muffled, maybe.

At first, you chalk it up to water in your ears, but when your hearing doesn’t get any better as the day advances, you get a bit more concerned.

At times like this, when you experience a sudden severe difference in your hearing, you should get medical help. The reason why you should get help is that sudden hearing loss is usually a symptom of an underlying medical issue. Sometimes, that larger issue can be an obstruction in your ear. Perhaps some earwax.

And sometimes that sudden hearing loss can be related to diabetes.

Diabetes – What is it?

You’d be forgiven for not immediately seeing the connections between hearing loss and diabetes. Your pancreas and your ears seem very far apart, distance-wise.

Type 2 diabetes is an ailment in which your body has trouble breaking down sugars into energy. When your body doesn’t produce a sufficient amount of insulin or can’t process the insulin it is producing, this is the result. That’s why treatments for diabetes normally entail injections or infusions of insulin.

What is The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing?

Diabetes is a common complex affliction which can sometimes be degenerative. With the assistance of your physician, it has to be handled cautiously. So how is that related to your hearing?

Well, it turns out that sudden hearing loss can often be an indication that you’re developing type 2 diabetes. Collateral damage to other parts of the body is common with diabetes which often 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 even before other more well known diabetes symptoms appear (like numb toes), you may go through sudden hearing loss.

What Should I do?

You’ii want to get medical attention if your hearing has suddenly started acting up. Diabetes, for example, will often be entirely symptomless initially, so you may not even know you have it until you start to see some of these red flags.

As is the situation with most types of hearing loss, the sooner you get treatment, the more possibilities you’ll have. But it’s not just diabetes you need to watch for. Sudden hearing loss could be caused by:

  • Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
  • Problems with your blood pressure.
  • Some types of infections.
  • Autoimmune diseases.
  • Blood circulation problems (these are sometimes caused by other issues, like diabetes).
  • Growth of tissue in the ear.

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

Treatment Options For Sudden Hearing Loss

Here’s the good news, whether your sudden hearing loss is brought on by diabetes or infection (or any of these other issues), effective treatment of the underlying cause will usually bring your hearing back to healthy levels if you catch it early. 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 quick and efficient treatment is the key here. There are some conditions that can result in permanent damage if they go untreated (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So if you’re coping with any type or degree of hearing loss, get it treated now.

Pay Attention to Your Hearing

If you undergo regular hearing screenings, sudden hearing loss might be easier to detect and you may stop it from sneaking up on you by detecting it sooner. These screenings can typically detect specific hearing problems before they become obvious to you.

Hearing loss and diabetes have one other thing in common: the sooner you get treatment, the better. Neglected hearing loss can trigger other health concerns such as loss of cognitive function. Contact us to schedule a hearing test.

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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.