A study finds that hearing loss is quite common among people with ankylosing spondylitis.

In a study, 48% of those who had ankylosing spondylitis also had at least a mild hearing loss.

Ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disease and is a type of arthritis in which there is a long-term inflammation of the joints of the spine.

The Indian study examined 100 patients’ ankylosing spondylitis and 40 persons in a control group.  Hearing loss was defined as pure‐tone thresholds greater than 20 dB (decibel) in at least two frequencies of the audiogram. The study was conducted in a rheumatology clinic in north India.

Different types of hearing loss

Of the 100 patients with ankylosing spondylitis, 48 had a hearing loss and 28 of them had a bilateral hearing loss. 29 patients had a conductive hearing loss. 16 patients had a mixed hearing loss (components of both sensory and conductive) and 3 had a pure sensorineural hearing loss. The hearing loss was mild in 38 patients and moderate to severe in 10 patients.

The conductive hearing loss was at a low frequency in 70% of cases while the sensorineural hearing loss was at a high frequency in 75% of cases.

The presence of hearing loss increased with age.

The study, “Hearing loss in ankylosing spondylitis”, was published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Sources: International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases and www.ankylosingsponylitisnews.com

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