Hearing Loss And Diabetes, What’s The Connection?

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

Hearing loss can catch you by surprise, it’s true. But in some cases, hearing issues bypass the sneaking completely, in favor of a sudden (and often alarming), cat-like pounce. It could happen like this: you get up, drag yourself out of bed, and perhaps you don’t detect it until you get out of the shower but your hearing feels…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 advances, you get a little more worried.

At times like this, when you have a sudden drastic change to your hearing, you should seek out medical attention. The reason why you should get help is that sudden hearing loss is often a symptom of an underlying medical problem. In some cases, that larger problem can be a blockage in your ear. Perhaps some earwax.

But sudden hearing loss can also be a symptom of diabetes.

Diabetes – What is it?

You’d be forgiven for not quickly seeing the links between hearing loss and diabetes. Your pancreas seems like it’s pretty far away from your ears.

With type 2 diabetes, sugars in your body aren’t efficiently broken down and turned into energy. This occurs because your body either isn’t producing enough insulin or it’s not responding to the insulin that you do produce. 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 complex condition which can sometimes be degenerative. It needs to be managed cautiously, usually with the help of your physician. So how is that related to your hearing?

Well, it turns out that sudden hearing loss can often be an indication that you’re experiencing type 2 diabetes. Collateral damage to other parts of the body is common with diabetes which commonly has an impact on blood vessels and nerves. These exact changes have a powerful affect on the little hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So you may experience sudden hearing loss even before other, more traditional symptoms of diabetes appear (numb toes, for example).

Is There Anything I Can Do?

You’ii want to get medical attention if your hearing has suddenly started acting up. Diabetes, for example, will frequently be entirely symptomless at first, so you might not even realize you have it until you begin to see some of these red flags.

As is the case with most forms of hearing loss, the sooner you find treatment, the more possibilities you’ll have. But it’s not just diabetes you need to watch for. Here are some other possible triggers of sudden hearing loss:

  • Problems with blood circulation (often caused by other issues like diabetes).
  • Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
  • Infections of varied types.
  • Growth of tissue in the ear.
  • Issues with your blood pressure.
  • Autoimmune diseases.

It can be tough to know what’s causing your sudden hearing loss or what to do about it without a medical diagnosis.

Treatment Solutions For Sudden Hearing Loss

Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is caused by, if you identify it soon enough, your hearing will normally return 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 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 dealing with any type or amount of hearing loss, have it treated now.

Pay Attention to Your Hearing

If you undergo routine hearing screenings, sudden hearing loss might be easier to detect and you may stop it from sneaking up on you by catching it sooner. Specific hearing problems can be detected in these screenings before you observe them.

Diabetes and hearing loss have one other thing in common: the sooner you get treatment, the better. Other problems, like degeneration of cognitive function, can result from neglected hearing loss. Call us to schedule a hearing test.

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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