“Do not underestimate hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness. It is necessary to keep an eye on the ear, because it can tell us that something is wrong. There is indeed a connection between hearing disorders and neurodegenerative diseases”. This was stated by Arianna Di Stadio, professor of otolaryngology at the University of Catania and honorary researcher at the Neuroinflammation Laboratory of Ucl Queen Square Neurology in London, who presents one of her studies on the subject at the National Congress of the Italian Society of Otolaryngology and Neck Surgery Facial (Sio), in progress in Rome from 25 to 28 May. “Transient hearing loss, as well as tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and dizziness – he explains – can be a symptom of both absolutely benign conditions, such as a drop in blood pressure, but to date we know that they can also be the symptom precocious of some diseases of the central nervous system. Disorders that can be caused by a problem inside the ear, but also depend on an inflammation of the structures responsible for hearing and balance in the brain “. Multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and some forms of dementia “are characterized by phenomena of neuroinflammation that can be chronic and progressive, as in the case of Alzheimer’s, or interspersed with moments of absolute normality and reactivation of the disease, as in multiple sclerosis” , clarifies the expert who has already presented the study on the connection between hearing impairment and neurodegenerative diseases at Stanford University. “To date – recalls Di Stadio – we know that neuroinflammation is a normal process in some predisposed people or in case of acquired diseases such as Covid-19, but it can take on a negative character and determine a series of diseases of the nervous system “. For this reason “the presence of hearing disorders, and also of balance, which suddenly arise in a young and apparently healthy patient” should not be overlooked. From “studies with the UCL in London, the Sapienza University of Rome and the Wayne State University in Detroit – details the specialist – we discovered that these symptoms could indicate a pathology, such as multiple sclerosis, at its onset”. A study published in ‘Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders’, highlighted that the presence of the auditory symptom can be linked to the reactivation phase of sclerosis, which is why the presence of this problem, especially in patients who already have a diagnosis of this disease , should not be underestimated; in the presence of an auditory muffle, a vertigo that lasts several days, a continuous ringing in the ear that has no apparent cause (a concert or the nightclub the previous evening), the expert’s advice is to “contact the specialist for further investigations. In fact, the early identification of a reactivation phase of multiple sclerosis allows to start a treatment promptly and reduce the risk of disability “. Several studies, therefore,” have shown that the ear could show signs of some diseases of the nervous system, but not only; in fact, since the ear is a very small structure, the phenomena of inflammation that occur there can determine a symptom, easily identifiable by the patient. So listening to the ear is very important “, he recommends Di Stadio, insisting on the importance of early diagnosis. Multiple sclerosis is one of the most common causes of neurological disorders in the young and middle-aged population, affecting women more than men, as it has an autoimmune basis and women’s immune systems are more active. This disease is most common in countries in North America, Northern Europe and Northern Italy, and the cause of onset is a combination of genetics and environmental factors. The disease affects 1,800-2,000 people annually. The early identification of both the onset symptoms of the disease and its reactivations is of vital importance for medical treatment and to avoid the spread of neuroinflammation. Multiple sclerosis is one of the most common causes of disability in the under 30 population.
Welcome! Log into your account
Recover your password
A password will be e-mailed to you.