Hard-of-hearing by rheumatism? Even hearing loss!

When rheumatism causes damage to the inner ear

Inflammatory rheumatic diseases, among which in Germany a million and a half people are suffering, not only attack the joints. Among the little-known consequences also damage to the inner ear. Some of the rheumatic forms, it can even lead to sudden hearing loss, such as a rheumatism,-the expert of the German society for rheumatology (DGRh) on the occasion of the world day of hearing explains.

The classic joint, rheumatism, rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) often starts at the age of 50 to 70 years. At this time the hearing is for many people. “It is, therefore, difficult to whether the RA promotes the development of hearing loss in old age,” explains Professor Dr. med. Hendrik Schulze-Koops, President of the German society for rheumatology (DGRh) and a senior rheumatologist at the hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich.

Many epidemiological studies suggest, however, that people with RA suffer more than others under the hearing impairment.

The relationships are explored according to the experts, little. It is unclear whether the joints are affected between the Hörknöchelchen, the increase in the middle ear the sound. Conceivable is also that the receiver is drawn in the inner ear by the disease affected. “But one can assume that the inflammation in RA and other inflammatory diseases cause damage to the nervous system and this is the Listening to impaired. For this purpose, there is to Smell, for example, studies and systemic Lupus erythematosus (SLE), the proof of this,“ explained the expert.

The RA is only one of several rheumatic diseases in which the immune system joints and other body structures with antibodies attacks instead of protecting it. Further, the systemic Lupus erythematosus (SLE), in Germany, about 30,000 people suffer. Often younger adult women. Visible signs of SLE may be lichen the so-called butterfly, with reddish scale-like areas on the face. The disease, however, is not limited to the skin. It attacks various organs, including the inner ear. “Pathologists have demonstrated antibody and immune complex in the inner ear, blood circulation disorders cause or the sense of damage cells directly,” says Professor Schulze-Koops. In severe cases, there is a sudden hearing loss in one ear. “Fortunately, timely treatment can often prevent this,” said the expert, “therefore, the patient urgently belong in the hands of rheumatologists”. The people Affected often must take life-long medications, the excessive braking at the end of reactions of the immune system.

The rare inflammatory rheumatic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis causes damage to the hearing. In this disease, the entire body accumulations of small inflammatory nodules, which cause damage to the tissue. Is affected also the connection between the middle ear and the pharynx, which favors inflammation of the middle ear. In Germany, a few hundred people are ill. “Hearing impairment in this disease very often,” says Professor Schulze-Koops.

Basically, the expert advises sick all the rheumatism, to have your hearing checked regularly. Professor Schulze-Koops explains: “A deterioration of hearing performance can indicate that the treatment of the disease is optimal and the dose of the medication needs to be reviewed.” It is crucial that the patients arrive as early as possible to a specialist, and give you a tailored treatment. The only way to long-term damage can be prevented.