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Chemotherapy and other ototoxic drugs: the damaging effect on hearingJanuary 31, 2022
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that cause inflammation, pain and swelling in the body, especially around joints and organs. Typical symptoms include fatigue, stiffness and tenderness around joint. But one of the most unexpected “symptoms” of RA – hearing loss.
Autoimmune diseases can cause autoimmune inner ear diseases which is when the body attacks the inner ear instead of other joints and structures in the body. Other autoimmune disorders that are at risk for hearing loss include Cogan’s Syndrome, Lupus and Sjogren’s Syndrome.
The Arthritis Foundation has found a link between sensorineural hearing loss and individuals suffering from RA. It was found that individuals with RA have a higher risk of developing a sensorineural hearing loss.
Here is what you need to know if you have RA:
- RA can affect the movement of the bones in your middle ear leading to a loss in hearing.
- Certain medications used as treatment of RA can cause a ringing in your ears as well as hearing loss. If you notice a change in hearing while taking medication, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
- Inflammation in the blood vessels can have a damaging effect on the hair cells in your inner ear as well as the nerves responsible for transporting the message to the brain.
- Hearing loss related to RA often presents as a fluctuating hearing loss – resulting in better hearing om some days than others.
It is important to frequently monitor your hearing, hearing loss can be managed but not cured. Therefore, we need to prevent it as much as possible or reverse it if it was caused by medication. Visit your audiologist to evaluate your hearing and find out more if an autoimmune you suffer of can affect your hearing.
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