Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Hearing Loss?

rheumatoid arthritis and hearing loss

The causes of hearing loss are extremely complex. But did you know that there is a connection between rheumatoid arthritis and hearing loss?

The Numbers

Statistics show that there is a significant link between rheumatoid arthritis and hearing loss.

This study observed people with and without rheumatoid arthritis. Around 16% of people without this disease had hearing loss. But hearing loss affected 42.7% of people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

Other studies had slightly different results. However, they all confirmed this finding. People who have rheumatoid arthritis are at a higher risk of hearing loss.

But why are these two conditions connected?

Explaining the Link

Here are some potential reasons why rheumatoid arthritis can affect your hearing.

  • Pain Medication

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful condition. In many cases, people who suffer from it take pain medication.

But some forms of pain medication can damage your hearing. This is because the hair cells in the inner ear become less sensitive.

So which medications are the most damaging? Drugs like ibuprofen can be dangerous to your hearing.

If you have noticed any changes in response to medication, you should consult your doctor. After all, there could be some alternatives.

  • Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease (AIED)

AIED is related to rheumatoid arthritis. This is another autoimmune disorder. If you have AIED, your immune system attacks parts of your body.

Hearing loss is one of the top symptoms of AIED. This disease also causes dizziness and tinnitus.

A Final Word

Not many people know about the link between rheumatoid arthritis and hearing loss. Researchers are still working on studying it. But if you have rheumatoid arthritis, you should pay close attention to your hearing health.