Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease (AIED) – Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat Institute


Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease or Autoimmune
Hearing Loss is, at least at this point, I feel like I’m seeing it a little more. When
you say autoimmune it means that somehow our protective device, our immune system rather
than attacking external or invasive organisms or bacteria, it’s actually attacking our
own body for some reason it doesn’t recognize and that’s why it’s called autoimmune
process. So one of the places it can attack is your inner ear. It leads to hearing loss.
It leads to dizziness and other inner ear symptoms.
To be honest we don’t really know why it occurs. Just like a lot of times we don’t
know why people get other types of autoimmune processes. Presumably there is some mix of
genetic disposition for some people and then you get some environmental factors that leads
to having that occur. The most common symptoms that makes us suspicious
that somebody has autoimmune diseases is a sudden drop in hearing. Typically people may
wake up one day and say my god I can’t hear on that side anymore. And get ringing in the
ear, and get some dizziness associated with it as well.
The treatment is steroids. If we can diagnose and discover the person who is losing their
hearing early, the steroid can reverse and sometime we can get the hearing all back. It’s
important after hearing this when you hear someone say my hearing is gone, don’t wait.
See somebody quickly because its possibly this. So you can be treated and it can be
reversed.

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