Skip to navigation Skip to content

Hearing Loss

Share

In this article

Overview

Hearing loss is an uncommon symptom of MS. About 6 percent of people who have MS complain of impaired hearing. The cause of hearing loss can be due to non-MS related issues but can be associated with damage to the brainstem — the part of the nervous system that contains the nerves that help to control vision, hearing, balance and equilibrium. Hearing loss may also take place during an acute exacerbation.

  • In very rare cases, hearing loss has been reported as the first symptom of the disease.
  • Deafness due to MS is exceedingly rare, and most acute episodes of hearing deficit caused by MS tend to improve. Although not a common MS symptom, the incidence of hearing loss called sensorineural hearing loss in the MS population far exceeds that in the normal population.

Hearing deficits caused by MS are thought to be due to inflammation and/or scarring around the eighth cranial nerve (the auditory nerve) as it enters the brainstem, although plaques (abnormal areas that develop on nerves whose myelin has been destroyed) at other sites along the auditory pathways could also contribute to hearing problems.

Because hearing deficits are so uncommon in MS, people with MS who do develop hearing loss should have their hearing thoroughly evaluated by a healthcare provider to rule out other causes.

Finding an audiologist

The American Academy of Audiology provides an online search tool to locate audiologists who are members of the Academy. Audiologists are the primary health-care professionals who evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss and balance disorders in adults and children.

American Academy of Audiology
11480 Commerce Park Drive, Suite 220, Reston, VA 20191
Phone: 800-222-2336
Website: http://webportal.audiology.org/Custom/FindAnAudiologist.aspx
Email: infoaud@audiology.org

 

Less Common Symptoms

This video features a discussion with Stephen Krieger, MD, who talks about less common symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Share


The National MS Society is Here to Help

Need More Information?

We Are Here

Our MS Navigators help identify solutions and provide access to the resources you are looking for. Call 1-800-344-4867 or contact us online.





Contact Us

Contact Us
Newly Diagnosed

If you or someone close to you has recently been diagnosed, access our MS information and resources.

Start Here

Start Here