What does rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have to do with hearing loss? Quite a bit, according to a new study released by the Open Rheumatology Journal.
Hearing loss has been linked to a decrease in overall mental and physical health. Research has proven connections with age, smoking, cognitive decline, heart health, and a diminished quality of life — and now rheumatoid arthritis.
This is the first study of hearing impairment in RA. The study’s conclusion: Those with rheumatoid arthritis are at a higher risk of hearing impairment over the course of the disease. In addition, the study suggests it’s obvious that hearing impairment in RA is a multi-factorial disease because environmental factors like smoking, disease characteristics like rheumatoid nodules, and patient characteristics like age can affect it. However, it’s still unclear if these factors affect one another both directly and indirectly.
One environmental factor found in this study …