New research finds people with lupus have significantly higher odds of developing hearing loss compared to the general public.
Researchers reviewed data from 17 studies totaling 1,326 participants overall (635 people with lupus and 691 “controls” – people without lupus of similar age). Study participants’ average age was about 37 years old. More than a quarter (27%) of the people with lupus were diagnosed with hearing loss compared to just 2% of the control group.
Degree of hearing loss was also worse among those with lupus, primarily at low frequency levels. Examples of low-frequency sounds include thunder or a man’s deep voice.
Lupus is characterized by self-attacking antibodies known as autoantibodies that can injure the body’s tissues and organs, which can result in damage to the inner ear. Periodic testing for hearing loss is especially important in the lupus population. While some aspects of this complex disease can’t be controlled, there many ways to prevent and minimize complications. Learn some dos and don’ts for living well with lupus.
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