Florida Hearing Matters - Fort Lauderdale, FL

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

It’s true, hearing loss can catch you by surprise. 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 jump in the shower and when you get out you notice 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 progresses, you get a bit more concerned.

At times like these, when you experience a sudden drastic difference in your hearing, you should seek out medical help. That’s because sudden hearing loss can frequently be a symptom of a bigger issue. It may be a simple matter of a blockage in your ear. Perhaps some earwax.

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

What is Diabetes?

If you don’t instantly identify the connection between hearing loss and diabetes that would be understandable. 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 generate enough insulin or can’t process the insulin it is producing, this is the result. 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 complex), affliction. It needs to be managed carefully, in most cases with the help of your physician. So how is that associated with your ears?

Believe it or not, a fairly common sign of type 2 diabetes is sudden hearing loss. Collateral damage to other parts of the body is common with diabetes which commonly has an impact on blood vessels and nerves. These precise changes have a powerful 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).

What Should I do?

If you’re in this situation, and your hearing has suddenly started giving you trouble, you’ll definitely want to get examined by a medical professional. You may not even realize that you have diabetes at first, but these red flags will start to clue you in.

Getting help as soon as possible will give you the greatest number of possibilities, as is the case for most forms of hearing loss. But you need to watch for more than just diabetes. Here are a few other possible causes of sudden hearing loss:

  • Problems with blood circulation (often the result of other issues like diabetes).
  • Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
  • Infections of varied types.
  • Autoimmune disorders.
  • Tissue growth in the ear.
  • Blood pressure problems.

It can be tough to know what’s causing your sudden hearing loss or what you should 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 early enough, your hearing will usually go back to normal with correct treatment. Once the obstruction is removed or, in the case of diabetes, once blood circulation problems have been managed, your hearing will likely return to normal if you addressed it promptly.

But quick and efficient management is the key here. There are some conditions that can cause permanent damage if they go untreated (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So it’s vital 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 can sneak up on you, but it may be easier to detect, and you could catch it sooner if you get regular hearing screenings. Specific hearing problems can be detected in these screenings before you notice them.

There’s one more thing that diabetes and hearing loss have in common, treating them sooner will bring better outcomes. Other issues, like degeneration of cognitive function, can result from neglected hearing loss. Make an appointment with us for a hearing test 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.