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Does Rheumatoid Arthritis cause hearing loss?

Ms. Meniscus is asked about the correlation between RA and hearing loss.

Dear Ms. Meniscus,

I’ve been diagnosed with RA for three years now. And lately, I’ve noticed I’ve been having increased difficulty hearing people around me. I heard from a friend of mine that Rheumatoid Arthritis could cause hearing loss, is this true?

Please help.

--RA Listener

Dear RA Listener, In 2006, the Mayo Clinic published a report that indicated Rheumatoid Arthritis did not contribute to a higher risk of hearing loss in comparison to the general population, contradicting earlier reports linking the two. The Mayo Clinic study also reported that although there may be no greater risk of hearing loss in RA, it does not mean that hearing loss and RA are always unrelated. The report also stated that more study into this matter needs to be done, including an assessment of the impact of RA medication on a person’s hearing.

I recommended that if you are having difficulty hearing, speak to your rheumatologist/doctor to determine if it is indeed related to your condition. You can read a copy of the Mayo Clinic press release here: http://www.newswise.com/articles/rheumatoid-arthritis-does-not-increase-risk-of-hearing-loss

There is a lot of misinformation and old, out-dated data that can be gleaned from the internet. It is imperative that we do our own research instead of relying on information taken from second or third-hand sources. This is especially true when dealing with our health.

--M

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