The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing Loss

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 rather than sneaking up on you. It could happen like this: you get up, drag yourself out of bed, and perhaps you don’t notice until you get out of the shower but your hearing feels…off, or different Maybe muffled.

At first, you think that you have water in your ears, but when your hearing doesn’t improve as the day progresses, you get a bit more anxious.

It’s these moments when hearing loss seems to strike suddenly, as if out of nowhere, that it’s a good decision to seek out some medical attention. The reason why you should get help is that sudden hearing loss is commonly a symptom of an underlying medical problem. In some cases, that larger issue can be an obstruction in your ear. Perhaps some earwax.

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

What is Diabetes?

If you don’t immediately identify the connection between hearing loss and diabetes that would be understandable. Your ears and your pancreas seem very far apart, distance-wise.

With type 2 diabetes, sugars in your body aren’t properly broken down and converted into energy. This occurs because your body either isn’t making enough insulin or it’s not responding to the insulin that you do make. That’s why treatments for diabetes usually involve injections or infusions of insulin.

What Does Diabetes Have to do With Your Hearing?

Diabetes is a common complex affliction which can often be degenerative. It needs to be handled cautiously, normally with the help of your doctor. But what does that have to do with your hearing?

Believe it or not, a pretty common sign of type 2 diabetes is sudden hearing loss. Collateral damage to other parts of the body is common with diabetes which frequently has an affect on blood vessels and nerves. These precise changes have a powerful affect on the delicate hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So even before other more widely recognized diabetes symptoms show up (like numb toes), you might experience sudden hearing loss.

What Should I do?

You’ii want to get medical help if your hearing has suddenly started acting up. Diabetes, for example, will often be completely symptomless at first, so you may not even realize you have it until you begin to observe some of these red flags.

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

  • Autoimmune disorders.
  • Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
  • Tissue growth in the ear.
  • Problems with blood circulation (sometimes the consequence of other issues such as diabetes).
  • Issues with your blood pressure.
  • Infections of varied types.

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

Treatment Options For Sudden Hearing Loss

Regardless of which of these your sudden hearing loss is triggered by, if you catch it soon enough, your hearing will typically go back 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 effective treatment is the key here. There are some conditions that can cause permanent harm if they go neglected (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So it’s essential that you find medical treatment as quickly as possible, and if you’re suffering from hearing loss get that treated.

Pay Attention to Your Hearing

Sudden hearing loss catch you by surprise, but it may be easier to detect, and you could catch it sooner if you get regular hearing screenings. These screenings can normally uncover specific hearing issues before they become noticeable to you.

Diabetes and hearing loss have one other thing in common: the sooner you get treatment, the better. Neglected hearing loss can lead to other health concerns such as loss of cognitive function. Give us a call 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.