The Connection Between Diabetes And Hearing Loss

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 issues suddenly pounce you like a cat instead of sneaking up on you. It could happen like this: you wake up, pull yourself out of bed, and maybe you don’t detect it 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 progresses, and there’s no difference, you begin to get a bit worried.

At times like this, when you experience a sudden profound change to your hearing, you should seek out medical attention. The reason why you should seek help is that sudden hearing loss is usually a symptom of an underlying medical issue. It might be a simple matter of an obstruction in your ear. It might be just a bit of earwax.

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

Diabetes – What is it?

If you don’t immediately recognize 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 efficiently broken down and converted into energy. This occurs because your body either isn’t generating enough insulin or it’s not responding to the insulin that you do make. This is why insulin injections are the most prevalent form of diabetes treatments.

What is The Connection Between Diabetes And Hearing?

Diabetes is a common, often degenerative (and complex), condition. With the help of your doctor, it has to be handled carefully. But what does that have to do with your ears?

Well, it turns out that sudden hearing loss can frequently be an indication that you’re developing type 2 diabetes. Collateral damage to other parts of the body is common with diabetes which frequently has an affect on blood vessels and nerves. Tiny hairs in your ears (called stereocilia and responsible for your ability to hear) are particularly sensitive to those exact changes. So you might suffer sudden hearing loss even before other, more conventional symptoms of diabetes kick in (numb toes, for example).

What Should I do?

You’ii want to get medical attention if your hearing has suddenly started acting up. You might 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 possibilities, as is the case for most forms of hearing loss. But you need to watch out for more than just diabetes. Sudden hearing loss could be caused by:

  • Earwax buildup or other obstructions.
  • Blood circulation problems (these are often a result of other issues, such as diabetes).
  • Infections of varied types.
  • Blood pressure problems.
  • Growth of tissue in the ear.
  • Autoimmune diseases.

Without a proper medical diagnosis, it can be difficult to figure out the cause of your sudden hearing loss and how to manage the underlying symptoms.

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 typically go back to normal with proper treatment. Once the blockage is removed or, in the case of diabetes, once blood circulation problems have been addressed, your hearing will most likely return to normal if you addressed it promptly.

But quick and efficient treatment is the key here. There are some conditions that can cause irreversible harm if they go untreated (diabetes is, again, one of those conditions). So if you’re coping with any type or amount of hearing loss, have it treated now.

Pay Attention to Your Hearing

If you undergo regular hearing screenings, sudden hearing loss could be easier to detect and you might stop it from sneaking up on you by detecting it sooner. These screenings can normally detect specific hearing issues before they become obvious to you.

There’s one more thing that diabetes and hearing loss have in common, treating them sooner will bring better results. Neglected hearing loss can result in other health concerns such as loss of cognitive function. Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing aid discovery test right away.

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.