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Hearing Problems and Multiple Sclerosis

August 31, 2015

Having hearing problems is fortunately not a very common symptom of multiple sclerosis, but when it is associated with patients of the disease, it can conflict with their quality of life. About four to six percent of MS patients face challenges with their hearing, but it is good news that most patients do recover from this obstacle completely.

Tinnitus, otherwise known as ringing in the ears, is one of the hearing problems associated with patients. There are other varying degrees of hearing loss that have been experienced as well, which is defined as a loss of 30 decibels or more. This hearing loss makes it seem that someone is talking half as loud as a normal tone.

Receptive aphasia is another hearing problem that can be experienced by some MS patients. Individuals suffering from this can hear voices but cannot fully understand what is being said. One’s own speech can also be affected by this phenomenon as they may not be able to understand their own words.

These unfortunate hearing losses usually occur over a few days or even suddenly. This is what distinguishes the hearing problems from a gradual, age-related loss and suggests that it is an MS related symptom.

Sudden hearing loss or phases of hearing problems can signal an MS relapse and may occur during exacerbations experienced with the disease. It may also be related to heat exposure, though be aware that these hearing problems might not always be a result of your MS, so it is best to speak with your doctor or a neurologist. 

While hearing problems may be concerning and have potential to impact your quality of life, complete hearing loss associated with multiple sclerosis is very rare. 

Hearing Problems and Multiple Sclerosis - Mon August 31, 2015 10:25 AM