Can hearing impairment and/or sensitivity occur in EDS?
Hypermobility of the joints of the bones in the
middle ear (malleus, incus, and stapes) creates problems with effective
sound conduction across the middle ear. This loss of energy in route to
the inner ear leads to a mild to moderate conductive hearing loss.
Because the inner ear is also responsible for balance, improper
function leaves some affected with bouts of dizziness. Problems with
speech can occur; articulation, swallowing, hoarseness/weak voice,
fluency. (Amanda Jenner, Lynne
Shields PhD ccc-slp "Speech and Language Issues")
The safe and effective way of treating mild to moderate hearing
impairment which can occur in EDS is with hearing aid and necessary
additional aids. There is a much more common inherited disorder of
hearing know as Oloscterosis which can be
easily¬ confused with the type of hearing impairment that is seen
EDS. It is vitally important for the ear surgeon to be able to
differentiate between the two. As the hearing loss in both, is due to
abnormality of the sound conduction across the middle ear. The standard
treatment for Oloscterosis is an operation called, a "stapedectomy".
However, an attempt to undertake a stapedectomy on an EDS patient could
easily end in disaster with total loss of hearing and a severe
disruption of balance.(M. Hawthorne, FRCS-ENT Surgeon. "Hearing
Impairment and EDS") www.ehlersdanlos.ca