There are many diseases that report hearing loss as a symptom of the disease. Multiple sclerosis is one of those disorders. The Mayo Clinic defines multiple sclerosis as “a potentially debilitating disease in which your body’s immune system eats away at the protective sheath (myelin) that covers your nerves. Damage to myelin causes interference in the communication between your brain, spinal cord and other areas of your body. This condition may result in deterioration of the nerves themselves, a process that’s not reversible.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Symptoms vary widely, depending on the amount of damage and the nerves that are affected. People with severe cases of multiple sclerosis may lose the ability to walk or speak clearly. Multiple sclerosis can be difficult to diagnose early in the course of the disease because symptoms often come and go — sometimes disappearing for months.”
Although hearing loss is a relatively uncommon symptom of multiple sclerosis, if the area around the eighth cranial nerve (the hearing and balance nerve) or anywhere along the auditory pathway is affected it can lead to hearing and discrimination difficulties.
Multiple sclerosis should be considered in patients who report hearing loss in one ear, sudden changes in their hearing or hearing difficulties that fluctuate over time particularly if they are accompanied by any of the following:
- Facial numbness
- Facial paralysis
- Facial spasms
- Vertigo (dizziness)
- Tinnitus (ringing or other noises in the ear)
Multiple sclerosis has no cure. However, treatments may help to alleviate multiple sclerosis attacks, manage symptoms and reduce the progress of the disease.