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Are Arthritis and Hearing Loss Connected?

By Cherie Coe, 9:00 am on

Clinical reports show that hearing impairment (HI) can be a problem in older adults who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Many people with RA experience some level of hearing loss during their lifetime. Learn more about the connection between the two, presented by Home Care Assistance of Jefferson County.

1. Hearing Loss

Individuals who have RA complain about fluid or a full sensation in the ears, which makes hearing everyday noises difficult. RA itself can bring about changes inside the ear, creating disturbances in how the ear operates. Any change in the inner ear can affect the passage of sound through the canal and into the ear’s cochlea, which is the auditory portion.

2. Hearing Test

Older adults who have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis should have a hearing test done on a regular basis to evaluate their condition. This is especially important for people who are currently experiencing some auditory problems. A hearing test is a preventative measure for arthritis sufferers to determine if they are at risk of hearing loss because of their condition. Tests are able to detect audible functions in RA patients even at early stages of the disease.

3. Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Arthritis brings about changes to the inner ear and its pathways. This type of hearing loss is known as sensorineural hearing loss, or SNHC, and involves the nerves that are located in this region. Problems to this area of the ear can cause permanent damage and reduce the person’s ability to hear faint sounds or cause them to be muffled.

4. Elderly at Risk

Seniors who have had RA for a long period of time are likely to have some form of hearing loss compared to the general population. Studies have also found that women are more affected by this problem than their male counterparts. Compelling evidence indicates that there is a direct correlation between elderly RA patients and hearing loss.

Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of Jefferson County dementia care, Alzheimer’s care, and flexible hourly and live-in care for local seniors. Our expertly trained caregivers can assist with a number of everyday activities, helping seniors maintain health, safety, and comfort in the familiar surroundings of home. Learn more by calling (303) 987-5992 and scheduling a free in-home consultation.