Woman scratching at psoriasis not realizing it can lead to hearing loss.

When you think of psoriasis, you likely recall all those commercials depicted people with skin issues. Psoriasis goes beyond skin issues and really affects your overall health. Psoriasis is frequently misunderstood and minimized, due to a lack of knowledge of how psoriasis impacts sufferers as well as the serious conditions that can be related to this disorder. Even though plaques on the skin are its most obvious symptom, they’re indicative of what psoriasis can do throughout the body: Chronic Irritation that can increase the danger of metabolic conditions and cardiovascular disease.

Psoriasis is also connected to another issue according to a different recent study: Hearing loss. Published in The Journal of Rheumatology, The relationship between hearing impairment, mental health, and psoriatic arthritis were looked at in this study. Psoriatic arthritis is a type of psoriasis where inflammation is concentrated near the joints, causing swelling, difficulty moving, and soreness. The normal plaques might not be experienced by people who suffer from psoriatic arthritis.

When someone has psoriatic arthritis, the body is essentially attacking its own healthy tissue like it does with rheumatoid arthritis because they are all autoimmune illnesses. But as opposed to rheumatoid arthritis, you could have psoriatic arthritis on only one knee because it’s asymmetrical, and that besides joints, it often targets sufferer’s nails (leading to painfully swollen fingers and toes) and eyes.

Based on the findings of this recent study, inflammation from psoriatic arthritis could also affect hearing. The researchers contrasted the self-reported hearing loss of individuals who have psoriatic arthritis, people who suffer from psoriasis but not psoriatic arthritis, and a large control group of people with neither problem. They found that loss of hearing was more likely to be documented by the group that suffered from psoriasis, and those reports were supported by audiometric testing. Even when controlling for other risk factors, people diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis were significantly more prone to suffer from hearing loss than either {psoriasis sufferers or the control group}.

But that’s not to say there’s no connection between psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and loss of hearing. A 2015 study discovered that individuals who have been diagnosed with psoriasis are at a significantly higher danger of developing sudden sensorineural hearing loss, also known as sudden deafness. The capability to hear diminishes considerably over three days or less with sudden sensoroneural hearing loss. It has many potential causes, but scientists hypothesize that individuals with psoriasis are in greater danger as a result of the type of fast inflammation that takes place during a flare-up of psoriasis symptoms. If this occurs in or around the cochlea, it may impair hearing. In some instances, treatments that decrease psoriasis symptoms might be used to manage this type of hearing loss, but hearing aids are often recommended when sudden deafness does not respond to other treatments.

It’s worthwhile to monitor your hearing if you have psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Plan your annual healthcare appointment along with regular hearing exams. The inflammation due to these diseases can lead to inner ear injury, which can lead to loss of hearing as well as problems with balance. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are both also connected with depression and anxiety, both of which can be further exacerbated by loss of hearing. Other health issues, such as dementia, can be the outcome if you don’t detect loss of hearing sooner than later.

Awareness is key, and working with your doctors and regularly getting your hearing tested can assist you in keeping in front of symptoms with early intervention. You shouldn’t need to sacrifice your quality of life for psoriasis or for loss of hearing, and having the correct team on your side can make a huge difference.