Psoriasis Impacts Not Only Your Skin

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

The word psoriasis usually conjures up images of people with skin problems like the ones on all those advertisements. Psoriasis impacts your overall health and not only your skin. Psoriasis is commonly 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. Though plaques on the skin are its most noticeable sign, they’re indicative of what psoriasis can do throughout the body: The risk of metabolic problems that are increased by persistent irritation and cardiovascular disease.

Psoriasis is also linked to another problem according to a different recent study: Hearing loss. Published in The Journal of Rheumatology, The link between hearing impairment, psoriatic arthritis, and mental health were looked at in this research. Psoriatic arthritis is a form of psoriasis where inflammation is centered around the joints, causing swelling, difficulty with movement, and soreness. The tell-tale plaques may not be experienced by people who suffer from psoriatic arthritis.

In the same way as with rheumatoid arthritis (and similar to psoriasis), psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune illness, the sufferer’s body is basically attacking its own healthy tissue. But psoriatic arthritis varies from rheumatoid arthritis in that it’s usually asymmetrical (so you could have it in one knee but not the other), and it doesn’t only impact joints but leads to painfully swollen fingers and toes while it targets sufferer’s nails and eyes.

Based on the findings of this recent study, inflammation from psoriatic arthritis may also affect hearing. The study compared the self-reported hearing loss of people who have psoriatic arthritis, people who have psoriasis but not psoriatic arthritis, and a large control group of people with neither problem. They found that hearing impairment was more likely to be documented by the group that suffered from psoriasis, and audiometric screening supported the self-reports. Even when other risk considerations are taken into consideration, people diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis were significantly more likely to suffer from loss of hearing than either {the control group or psoriasis sufferers}.

But that’s not to say there’s no link between psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and loss of hearing. A 2015 study found that individuals who have been diagnosed with psoriasis are at a substantially higher danger of developing sudden sensorineural loss of hearing, generally known as sudden deafness. With sudden sensorineural hearing loss, people’s ability to hear diminishes substantially in three days or less. It has many possible causes, but scientists hypothesize that people with psoriasis are in greater danger because of the kind of fast inflammation that occurs during a flare-up of psoriasis symptoms. If this happens in or near the cochlea, it could impede hearing. This type of hearing loss, in many circumstances, can be helped by treatments that alleviate psoriasis., but hearing aids are often recommended when other interventions don’t appear to be working.

If you suffer from psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis, it’s worthwhile to monitor your hearing. Plan your annual healthcare appointment along with regular hearing tests. The inflammation due to these diseases can lead to inner ear injury, which can cause loss of balance and psoriatic arthritis. psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis are both also linked to depression and anxiety, which can both aggravated hearing loss. Other health issues, such as dementia, can be the outcome if you don’t detect loss of hearing early.

Awareness is key, and cooperating with your doctors and regularly getting your hearing checked can help you keep in front of symptoms with early intervention. You shouldn’t have to compromise your standard of living for psoriasis or for hearing loss, and all the difference is having the right team by your side.