Decreased hearing ability can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'generally fatal'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose decreased hearing ability, we could:
|Rheumatoid Arthritis||1%||Ruled out|
|Multiple Sclerosis||1%||Ruled out|
Has your hearing ability in one or both ears decreased over the past several years?
Possible responses:→ Don't know
→ No, my hearing has remained about the same
→ Yes, it is slightly worse now (slow decline)
→ Yes, it is a lot worse now (rapid decline)
→ Yes, I have (almost) completely lost my hearing
Encephalitis can cause sensorineural hearing loss.
Deafness is unusual but has been reported.
Meniere's disease can cause sensorineural hearing loss.
Meningitis can cause sensorineural hearing loss.
Middle ear infections can cause conductive hearing loss.
Multiple sclerosis that affects auditory nerve pathways in the brain can cause sensorineural hearing loss.
Rarely, rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints between the ossicles and can cause conductive hearing loss.
Nervous system effects, including hearing loss, meningitis, seizures or psychiatric disorders (for example, dementia, depression, psychosis) are possible signs of sarcoidosis.