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

It’s true, hearing loss can catch you by surprise. But in some cases, hearing problems bypass the sneaking entirely, in favor of a sudden (and often alarming), cat-like pounce. It could happen like this: you wake up, pull yourself out of bed, and maybe you don’t notice until you finish showering but your hearing feels…off, or different Muffled, maybe.

You just assume that you got some water in your ears, but as the day continues, and there’s no difference, you start to get a bit concerned.

It’s these moments when hearing loss seems to attack suddenly, as if out of nowhere, that it’s a smart plan to seek out some 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 problem can be a blockage in your ear. Maybe some earwax.

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

What is Diabetes?

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

Type 2 diabetes is an ailment in which your body has difficulty processing sugars 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. This is why insulin injections are the most common form of diabetes treatments.

What is The Connection Between Diabetes And Hearing?

Diabetes is a common, sometimes degenerative (and complicated), affliction. With the help of your doctor, it has to be managed carefully. But what does that have to do with your hearing?

Well, it turns out that sudden hearing loss can frequently be an indication that you’re developing type 2 diabetes. 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 in control of your ability to hear) are especially sensitive to those exact changes. So even before other more well known diabetes symptoms manifest (such as numb toes), you could experience sudden hearing loss.

What Should I do?

If you’re in this situation, and your hearing has suddenly begun giving you trouble, you’ll certainly want to get looked over by a medical professional. You may not even know that you have diabetes in the beginning, but these red flags will begin to clue you in.

As is the situation with most forms of hearing loss, the sooner you seek out treatment, the more options you’ll have. But you need to keep an eye out for more than just diabetes. Sudden hearing loss can also be caused by:

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

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 Solutions For Sudden Hearing Loss

Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is triggered by, if you identify it soon enough, your hearing will usually go back to normal with proper treatment. Once the obstruction is removed or, in the case of diabetes, once blood circulation issues have been addressed, your hearing will very likely get back to normal if you addressed it promptly.

But that truly does depend on prompt and effective treatment. There are some disorders that can result in permanent harm if they go untreated (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So it’s essential that you find medical treatment as quickly as you can, and if you’re suffering from 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 undergo regular hearing screenings. Specific hearing problems can be identified in these screenings before you notice them.

There’s one more thing that diabetes and hearing loss share, treating them sooner will bring better outcomes. Other issues, including degeneration 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.