Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease - A guide to Hearing Loss

Known as AIED for short: this disease is where the body’s own immune system attacks healthy skin cells within the inner ear.

The immune system normally fights off bacteria and viruses by sending antibodies to destroy these invasive cells but for whatever reason ends up attacking healthy cells instead. This causes a range of symptoms such as buzzing or hissing sounds in the ears, tinnitus, impaired hearing and problems with balance such as dizziness or general unsteadiness. One or both ears are affected and symptoms tend to fluctuate over a period of time. It starts in one ear and then spreads to both of them. These symptoms are a feature of many other ear conditions which means that a blood test is required to eliminate these conditions as well as confirmation of a diagnosis. This is only carried out when the disease has affected both ears.

What causes autoimmune inner ear disease?

Experts are still unsure as to the exact causes of this condition. This is fairly new disease and research is being carried out in order to learn more about why the body’s immune system suddenly turns on itself.

One theory is that it is caused by an allergic reaction to certain foods. Another is that it is linked to Meniere’s disease.

Treatment for autoimmune inner ear disease

Treatment options are rather limited due to the relative newness of this disease. They include steroid injections and cytotoxic drugs but if these are unsuccessful then a hearing aid or cochlear implant may be the only answer.

Any hearing lost cannot be restored but this treatment can prevent any further reduction.

Hearing Loss

Medic8® Guides

© Medic8® | All Rights Reserved