Hearing Loss And Diabetes, What’s The Connection?

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

Hearing loss can sneak up on you, it’s true. But there are times when hearing issues 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.

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

It’s these moments when hearing loss seems to attack suddenly, as if out of nowhere, that it’s a good decision to seek out some medical help. That’s because sudden hearing loss can frequently be a symptom of a bigger issue. It may be a simple matter of an obstruction in your ear. Maybe some earwax.

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

Diabetes – What is it?

If you don’t immediately recognize the connection between hearing loss and diabetes that would be understandable. Your pancreas seems like it’s pretty far away from your ears.

Type 2 diabetes is an ailment in which your body has trouble processing sugars into energy. When your body doesn’t generate a sufficient amount of insulin or can’t process the insulin it is producing, this is the result. This is why insulin injections are the most common type of diabetes treatments.

What is The Link Between Diabetes And Hearing?

Diabetes is a common, sometimes degenerative (and complex), affliction. It needs to be managed cautiously, in most cases with the help of your physician. But what does that have to do with your hearing?

Well, it turns out that sudden hearing loss can often be an indication that you’re developing type 2 diabetes. Collateral damage to other areas of the body is common with diabetes which frequently has an impact 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 may experience sudden hearing loss even before other, more conventional symptoms of diabetes kick in (numb toes, for instance).

Is There Anything I Can Do?

If you’re in this scenario, and your hearing has suddenly begun acting up, you’ll definitely want to get looked over by a medical professional. You may not even realize that you have diabetes in the beginning, but these red flags will start to clue you in.

As is the situation with most types of hearing loss, the sooner you get treatment, the more options you’ll have. But you should keep an eye out for more than just diabetes. Here are some other possible triggers of sudden hearing loss:

  • Problems with blood circulation (often caused by other problems such as diabetes).
  • A blockage in the ear (like an build-up of earwax).
  • Infections of varied types.
  • Problems with your blood pressure.
  • Autoimmune disorders.
  • Growth of tissue in the ear.

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

Sudden Hearing Loss Treatment Solutions

Here’s the good news, whether your sudden hearing loss is related to diabetes or infection (or any of these other issues), successful treatment of the underlying cause will often bring your hearing back to normal levels if you recognize it early. 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 if you’re dealing with any type or degree of hearing loss, get it treated now.

Pay Attention to Your Hearing

Sudden hearing loss can sneak up on you, but it might be easier to detect, and you could catch it sooner if you undergo regular hearing screenings. Specific hearing problems can be identified in these screenings before you observe them.

Diabetes and hearing loss have one other thing in common: the sooner you get treatment, the better. Untreated hearing loss can result in other health concerns like loss of cognitive function. Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam 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.