Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to hearing loss in some individuals, according to new research.
Rheumatoid arthritis can cause hearing loss due to multiple factors, according to a new study. Rheumatoid arthritis affects nearly one percent of the population, and hearing loss prevalence in rheumatoid arthritis is between 25 and 72 percent. The most common type of hearing loss in rheumatoid arthritis is sensorineural hearing loss, which includes synovial destruction of incudostapedial and incudomalleolar joints, rheumatoid nodules, auditory neuropathy, destruction of the cochlear hair cells, and drug-induced ototoxicity. The study uncovered an increased risk of hearing impairment in senior patients and patients with long disease duration, active disease, seropositivity, elevated acute phase reactants, and rheumatoid nodules.
Environmental factors can affect hearing impairment as well, and smoking, alcohol, and noise can aggravate the condition. Long-term exposure to alcohol can negatively affect rheumatoid arthritis, too.
Treatment of hearing impairment in rheumatoid arthritis is essential. Treatment options include oral steroids and intensifying Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs. Antioxidants may also be beneficial for ear protection, and regular hearing tests are essential to monitor any changes. Lastly, hearing impairment can be successfully managed with hearing aids along with lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, minimizing alcohol consumption, and reducing noise.