The Link Between Hearing Loss and Diabetes

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

Hearing loss can catch you by surprise, it’s true. 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 get up, drag yourself out of bed, and perhaps you don’t notice until you finish showering but your hearing feels…off, or different Muffled, maybe.

You just assume that you got some water in your ears, but as the day continues, and there’s no improvement, you start to get a little concerned.

At times like this, when you experience a sudden drastic difference in your hearing, you should get medical help. The reason why you should get help is that sudden hearing loss is often a symptom of an underlying medical problem. It might be a simple matter of a blockage in your ear. It might be just a bit of earwax.

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

Diabetes – What is it?

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

With type 2 diabetes, sugars in your body aren’t efficiently broken down and turned into energy. When your body doesn’t generate a sufficient amount of insulin or can’t process the insulin it is making, this is the outcome. That’s why treatments for diabetes usually entail injections or infusions of insulin.

What is The Connection Between Diabetes And Hearing?

Diabetes is a common complex condition which can often be degenerative. It needs to be managed carefully, normally with the help of your physician. So how is that associated with your hearing?

Well, it turns out that sudden hearing loss can frequently be an indication that you’re experiencing type 2 diabetes. The link lies in the ability of diabetes to create collateral damage, most often to nerves and blood vessels around the extremities. These precise changes have a powerful impact on the little hairs in your ears responsible for your hearing (called stereocilia). So you might experience sudden hearing loss even before other, more conventional symptoms of diabetes appear (numb toes, for example).

Is There Anything I Can Do?

You’ii want to get medical help if your hearing has suddenly started acting up. You may not even know that you have diabetes at first, but these red flags will begin to clue you in.

Seeking out help as soon as possible will give you the greatest number of possibilities, as is the situation for most types of hearing loss. But you need to watch out for more than just diabetes. Sudden hearing loss could be caused by:

  • Infections of varied types.
  • Autoimmune disorders.
  • An obstruction in the ear (such as an build-up of earwax).
  • Tissue growth in the ear.
  • Blood circulation issues (these are sometimes a result of other problems, such as diabetes).
  • Problems with your blood pressure.

Without an appropriate medical diagnosis, it can be difficult to figure out the cause of your sudden hearing loss and how to treat 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 early enough, your hearing will normally return to normal with correct treatment. Once the obstruction is removed or, with diabetes, once blood circulation problems have been addressed, your hearing will likely return to normal if you dealt with it quickly.

But quick and efficient treatment is the key here. If they are not addressed in time, some conditions, including diabetes, will lead to permanent harm to your hearing. So it’s vital that you seek out medical treatment as quickly as possible, and if you’re suffering from hearing loss get that treated.

Pay Attention to Your Hearing

If you get regular hearing screenings, sudden hearing loss may be easier to identify and you may stop it from sneaking up on you by detecting it sooner. These screenings can typically detect specific hearing issues before they become obvious to you.

Hearing loss and diabetes have one other thing in common: the sooner you get treatment, the better. Other issues, including deterioration of cognitive function, can result from untreated hearing loss. 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.