Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the immune system’s attack on the protective covering, or myelin, of the brain, spinal cord and eyes. Among its myriad symptoms, MS can also impact hearing, with sensorineural hearing loss occurring in 4% to 10% of MS patients. While hearing loss and related conditions like tinnitus are not common MS symptoms, they can be linked to nerve damage or lesions in the brain associated with the disease.
MS And Sudden Hearing Loss
Sudden hearing loss is a distinct symptom related to MS Unlike gradual, age-related or noise-induced hearing loss, sudden hearing loss associated with MS typically develops rapidly, affecting one ear in most cases. Although rare, there are instances where it can occur in both ears. This type of hearing loss is often linked to nerve damage in the brain and is accompanied by sensations like cracking or popping. It typically occurs during an MS relapse.
Tinnitus: A Common Companion
Tinnitus, the perception of ringing, buzzing, or other sounds in the absence of external stimuli, is another condition associated with MS-related hearing loss. When experienced during an MS remission, it is advisable to consult with a doctor. Treatment may involve a round of steroids, potentially leading to recovery over several weeks to months. However, some individuals may only achieve partial recovery, and others may face permanent hearing loss.
Managing Hearing Loss
For those grappling with hearing loss due to MS, hearing aids can be a valuable solution. They not only help to prevent additional hearing loss but also help manage existing hearing loss, contributing to enhanced quality of life.
If you are experiencing hearing issues, whether related to MS or not, contact Hearing Center Silver Spring for a comprehensive hearing test. Discussing hearing aid options with your doctor is a proactive step towards addressing the impact on your auditory well-being.