Gilberts Audiology & Hearing Aid Center - Oklahoma

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 instead of 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.

Initially, you think that you have water in your ears, but when your hearing doesn’t improve as the day progresses, you get a bit more concerned.

At times like this, when you experience a sudden profound difference in your hearing, you should seek out medical help. The reason why you should get help is that sudden hearing loss is usually a symptom of an underlying medical problem. At times, that larger problem can be an obstruction in your ear. Perhaps some 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 a long way from your ears.

Type 2 diabetes is an ailment in which your body has difficulty breaking down sugars into energy. When your body doesn’t generate enough insulin or can’t process the insulin it is making, this is the outcome. That’s why treatments for diabetes normally involve injections or infusions of insulin.

What is The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing?

Diabetes is a common, often degenerative (and complicated), affliction. With the assistance of your physician, it needs to be handled cautiously. But what does that have to do with your hearing?

Believe it or not, a pretty common indicator of type 2 diabetes is sudden hearing loss. Collateral damage to other areas of the body is common with diabetes which frequently has an affect on blood vessels and nerves. These exact changes have a powerful impact 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 may go through sudden hearing loss.

Is There Anything I Can Do?

If you’re in this situation, and your hearing has suddenly started acting up, you’ll definitely want to get checked by a medical professional. Diabetes, for example, will often be totally symptomless initially, so you may not even recognize you have it until you begin to notice some of these red flags.

Seeking out help as soon as possible will give you the greatest number of possibilities, as is the situation for most forms of hearing loss. But you should keep an eye out for more than just diabetes. Sudden hearing loss can also be caused by:

  • Issues with your blood pressure.
  • Infections of various types.
  • Autoimmune disorders.
  • An obstruction in the ear (like an ear wax build-up).
  • Growth of tissue in the ear.
  • Blood circulation problems (these are often caused by other issues, like diabetes).

Without an appropriate medical diagnosis, it can be difficult to figure out the cause of your sudden hearing loss and how to treat the underlying symptoms.

Treatment Options For Sudden Hearing Loss

Here’s the good news, whether your sudden hearing loss is related to diabetes or infection (or any of these other problems), effective management of the underlying cause will usually return your hearing back to normal levels if you recognize it early. Once the blockage is removed or, in the case of diabetes, once blood circulation problems have been managed, your hearing will likely get back to normal if you dealt with it promptly.

But quick and efficient management is the key here. If they are not treated in time, some conditions, like diabetes, will bring about permanent damage to your hearing. So if you’re dealing with any type or amount of hearing loss, get it treated now.

Keep an Eye on Your Ears

If you undergo 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 issues can be detected in these screenings before you notice them.

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