The Impact of Psoriasis Goes Further Than Your Skin

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

When you think about psoriasis, you probably think about all those commercials showing people with skin problems. Psoriasis affects your overall health and not just your skin. 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. Psoriasis causes reactions through the whole body despite the fact that skin plaques are the most recognizable symptom: The risk of metabolic disorders that are increased by persistent inflammation and cardiovascular disease.

New research reinforces the body of research connecting another significant issue to psoriasis: Hearing loss. Published in The Journal of Rheumatology, this study considered connections between psoriatic arthritis, mental health, and hearing impairment. Psoriatic arthritis has an influence on the joints, and is a type of psoriasis, causing pain, difficulty with movement, and swelling. The normal plaques may not be experienced by people who suffer from psoriatic arthritis.

In the same way as with rheumatoid arthritis (and like psoriasis), psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune illness, the sufferer’s body is basically attacking its own healthy tissue. But psoriatic arthritis differs from rheumatoid arthritis in that it’s usually asymmetrical (so you could have it in one knee but not the other), and that besides joints, it frequently impacts sufferer’s nails (leading to painfully swollen fingers and toes) and eyes.

Based on the findings of this recent study, swelling from psoriatic arthritis could also impact hearing. A significant control group of people with neither psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis were contrasted against people who had one or the other condition. They discovered that hearing impairment was more likely to be documented by the group that suffered from psoriasis, and audiometric testing backed up the self-reports. Even when controlling for other risk factors, psoriatic arthritis sufferers were significantly more prone to have loss of hearing than either {the control group or psoriasis sufferers}.

But that’s not to say there’s no connection between psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and loss of hearing. A 2015 study discovered that people who have been diagnosed with psoriasis are at a considerably higher danger of developing sudden sensorineural loss of hearing, also called sudden deafness. With sudden sensorineural hearing loss, people’s ability to hear diminishes considerably in three days or less. There are several possible causes for this, but researchers think that sudden psoriasis flare-ups could be to blame. If this takes place in or around the cochlea, it could impede hearing. This type of hearing loss, in many circumstances, can be aided by treatments that alleviate psoriasis., but hearing aids are often recommended when other treatments don’t appear to be helping.

It’s worthwhile to monitor your hearing if you suffer from psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Schedule regular hearing exams along with your annual health-care appointments. The inflammation from these diseases can lead to injury of the inner ear, which can lead to loss of balance and psoriatic arthritis. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are both also connected with depression and anxiety, which can both exacerbate loss of hearing. Other health concerns, such as dementia, can be the result if you don’t catch hearing loss sooner than later.

Recognition is key, and working with your doctors and periodically getting your hearing checked can help you keep ahead of symptoms with early intervention. Neither hearing loss nor psoriasis should cause you to sacrifice your standard of living, and all the difference is having the right team by your side.

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