An uncommon disease that occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the inner ear is known as an autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED). It can lead to dizziness, hearing loss, and tinnitus.
Under 1% of 28 millions Americans who experience hearing loss have AIED. Middle-aged women experience AIED at a slightly higher rate than the overall population.
What are Symptoms of AIED?
AIED and hearing loss go hand-in-hand. The hearing loss will begin in one ear and then it will also develop in the other ear. It may take weeks to a few months for the loss to occur.
Possible Additional Symptoms:
What causes AIED?
The human body’s immune cells are constantly on their guard if germs attempt to invade the body. They could mistake cells located in your inner ear for a bacteria or virus, and then attack them. This is known as an autoimmune reaction.
Immune cells in your body can also harm other organs. Nearly 30% of individuals who have AIED, also have another autoimmune disease that affects their entire body. This includes lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, ulcerative colitis, or Sjoegren’s syndrome (dry eye syndrome).
The Difficulty of Diagnosis
The symptoms of AIED are common in other diseases, so it makes it difficult to diagnose. It is often confused for an ear infection until the hearing loss has spread to the other ear.
You can start by getting a free hearing test from us at Pure Sound Hearing. There’s no test that can confirm if you have AIED, but the results might indicate that you are experiencing an autoimmune reaction.
A hearing aid can help you adjust to hearing loss, but more severe cases may require a cochlear implant. A cochlear implant is a small device that uses the nerves located in your inner ear and transmits signals to your brain. The brain then transforms them into sound.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.