Hearing Loss And Diabetes, What’s The Connection?

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

It’s true, hearing loss can sneak up on you. But there are times when hearing problems suddenly pounce you like a cat instead of sneaking up on you. It could happen like this: you wake up, drag yourself out of bed, and maybe you don’t detect it until you get out of the shower but your hearing feels…off, or different Muffled, maybe.

You just assume that you got some water in your ears, but as the day progresses, and there’s no improvement, you begin to get a bit worried.

At times like this, when you experience a sudden severe difference in your hearing, you should get medical attention. The reason why you should get help is that sudden hearing loss is often a symptom of an underlying medical issue. At times, that larger issue can be an obstruction in your ear. Perhaps some earwax.

But sudden hearing loss can also be a sign 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 a long way from your ears.

Type 2 diabetes is an ailment in which your body has trouble breaking down sugars into energy. This happens because your body either isn’t producing enough insulin or it’s not responding to the insulin that you do produce. This is why insulin injections are the most common type of diabetes treatments.

What Does Diabetes Have to do With Your Hearing?

Diabetes is a common complex condition which can sometimes be degenerative. It needs to be handled carefully, in most cases with the help of your doctor. So how is that related to your ears?

Believe it or not, a fairly common indicator of type 2 diabetes is sudden hearing loss. Collateral damage to other areas of the body is common with diabetes which commonly has an affect on blood vessels and nerves. Tiny hairs in your ears (called stereocilia and responsible for your ability to hear) are especially sensitive to those exact changes. So you could suffer sudden hearing loss even before other, more traditional symptoms of diabetes appear (numb toes, for example).

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 looked at by a medical professional. You may not even be aware that you have diabetes in the beginning, but these warning signs will begin to clue you in.

As is the situation with most forms of hearing loss, the sooner you find treatment, the more possibilities you’ll have. But you should watch for more than just diabetes. Here are a few other possible triggers of sudden hearing loss:

  • Some types of infections.
  • Issues with blood circulation (sometimes caused by other issues including diabetes).
  • Blood pressure issues.
  • A blockage in the ear (like an build-up of earwax).
  • Tissue growth in the ear.
  • Autoimmune conditions.

Without an appropriate medical diagnosis, it can be challenging to figure out what’s causing your sudden hearing loss and how to handle the root 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 correct treatment. Once the obstruction is removed or, in the case of diabetes, once blood circulation issues have been managed, your hearing will very likely return to normal if you addressed it promptly.

But that really does depend on quick and efficient treatment. If they are not addressed in time, some conditions, including diabetes, will bring about permanent damage to your hearing. So if you’re dealing with any type or amount of hearing loss, have it treated now.

Pay Attention to Your Hearing

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. These screenings can typically uncover specific hearing issues before they become obvious to you.

There’s one more thing that diabetes and hearing loss have in common, managing them sooner will bring better results. Untreated hearing loss can lead to other health concerns such as loss of cognitive function. Contact 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.