Hearing Associates of Libertyville, IL

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

Hearing loss can sneak up on you, it’s true. But occasionally, hearing problems bypass the sneaking entirely, in favor of a sudden (and often startling), 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 finish showering but your hearing feels…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 difference, you start to get a bit worried.

At times like these, when you experience a sudden profound change to your hearing, you should seek out medical help. The reason why you should get help is that sudden hearing loss is often a symptom of an underlying medical problem. It may be a simple matter of an obstruction in your ear. Maybe some earwax.

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

Diabetes – What is it?

If you don’t immediately recognize the link between hearing loss and diabetes that would be understandable. Your pancreas seems like it’s pretty far away from your ears.

With type 2 diabetes, sugars in your body aren’t properly broken down and converted 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 prevalent type of diabetes treatments.

What is The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing?

Diabetes is a common complex affliction which can sometimes be degenerative. It needs to be handled cautiously, normally with the help of your physician. So how is that associated with your hearing?

Believe it or not, a fairly common sign of type 2 diabetes is sudden hearing loss. The link lies in the ability of diabetes to cause collateral damage, frequently to nerves and blood vessels around the extremities. These exact changes have a strong impact on the little hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So you could experience sudden hearing loss even before other, more conventional symptoms of diabetes kick in (numb toes, for example).

Is There Anything I Can Do?

If you’re in this scenario, and your hearing has suddenly started acting up, you’ll definitely want to get looked over by a medical professional. You may not even realize that you have diabetes at first, but these warning signs will begin to clue you in.

Seeking out help as soon as possible will give you the largest number of options, as is the case for most types of hearing loss. But you need to keep an eye out for more than just diabetes. Here are a few other possible causes of sudden hearing loss:

  • A blockage in the ear (like an ear wax build-up).
  • Some types of infections.
  • Problems with your blood pressure.
  • Tissue growth in the ear.
  • Autoimmune diseases.
  • Problems with blood circulation (sometimes the result of other problems such as diabetes).

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

Sudden Hearing Loss Treatment Solutions

Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is triggered by, if you identify it early enough, your hearing will usually 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 that truly does rely on prompt and effective treatment. There are some disorders that can result in irreversible damage if they go neglected (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So it’s vital that you find medical treatment as quickly as possible, 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 might be easier to detect, and you could catch it sooner if you undergo regular hearing screenings. Specific hearing issues can be detected in these screenings before you observe them.

There’s one more thing that diabetes and hearing loss share, treating them sooner will bring better results. Other issues, like degeneration of cognitive function, can result from neglected hearing loss. Give us a call 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.
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