Ever ask your family to speak up at the dinner table? Or find yourself turning up the volume on your favorite television show?
If you have psoriasis, it might be time to get your hearing checked. Results from a study published in February in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology suggest that people with psoriasis may be significantly more likely to develop a mild form of hearing loss called sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association, this form of hearing loss can make it difficult to hear quiet sounds, or to understand what others are saying. It can be caused by damage to a part of the inner ear known as the cochlea.
Sensorineural hearing loss is considered sudden when it comes on over a period of three days or less, the researchers explained. People with psoriasis are about 50 percent more likely to be diagnosed with sudden sensorineural hearing loss than people without psoriasis, according to the study.
Researchers also found that, whether or not you have psoriasis, growing older also puts you at greater risk for developing this form of hearing loss. People over 50 are more than three times more likely to develop sudden sensorineural hearing loss than people who are under 35, according to the results.
A study published last October in the Journal of Rheumatology found that people with psoriatic arthritis may be more susceptible to hearing loss, too. According to those findings, almost a third of people with psoriatic arthritis had hearing loss, compared with less than 7 percent of people without psoriatic arthritis.
Researchers point toward a connection between hearing loss and the immune system to explain the link between hearing loss and psoriatic disease. As noted in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology study, prior research has found that in some cases of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, the immune system may be attacking the cochlea. This is a similar to what happens in autoimmune diseases like psoriatic disease, when the immune system attacks the skin or joints.
Making people with psoriasis aware of their increased risk for hearing loss could help them detect and treat early signs of the condition, the researchers concluded.
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