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How Are RA and Hearing Loss Connected?

Some studies suggest that a connection may exist between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and hearing loss in some individuals. Being aware of the possible risk factors, however, could allow seniors to seek preventative treatment with a physician and take a proactive role in understanding what seems to form the link between these two conditions. Boca Raton elderly care professionals further explore this connection.

Possible causes of the decreased hearing in some patients with RA could be related to the medications they take, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Additionally, Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune condition some RA patients develop, is known to produce ear-related symptoms, including pain, hearing loss, and ringing in the ears. Age and gender could also play a possible role. In some studies, women showed signs of being more prone to hearing loss than their male counterparts. In fact, some women with RA developed auditory problems at a younger age than women in relatively good health.

The prevalence of hearing loss in people suffering from RA may be exacerbated by other environmental or lifestyle factors. Alcohol consumption, for example, has been linked to decreased auditory function in people with the autoimmune disorder. Likewise, smoking also appears to have an impact on an individual’s susceptibility.

Despite the connection between RA and hearing loss, there might be some benefit in asking a physician about preventative measures. Since hearing tests aren’t a part of an RA patient’s routine care, the tests can be requested if concern about hearing loss exists. In addition, some research indicates that vitamin E and other antioxidants could provide some degree of protection from developing hearing problems. Similarly, if an individual with RA stops smoking and reduces their intake of alcohol, the chance of avoiding hearing loss might be improved.

The bottom line is that a good relationship with a medical professional as well as the awareness of the possibility of developing a hearing problem are positive ways to monitor the health of an individual with RA.

Although we are known for our trusted Boca Raton dementia care, we offer flexible hourly and live-in care to help seniors maintain their health, safety, and independence while aging in the comfort of home. Learn more about the benefits of in-home care by calling Home Care Assistance at (561) 826.9282 and speaking with a friendly Care Manager today.