This has happened more than once – my husband I will be sitting in the family room at night, when the kids are safely tucked into bed, and he will hear a noise. He’ll say, “What’s was that?” but I don’t hear a thing. Jokingly he would say I need to get my ears checked.
Well, I did get them checked. I had a physical late last year and asked my doctor to check my ears to see why I don’t hear high pitched tones well. Perhaps there was a wax build up or maybe being over 40 I should chalk it up to just a sign of aging? He sent me to an audiologist and I took a hearing test in a padded room that looked and felt like a space-ship capsule.
When we were finished the audiologist said that I was experiencing hearing loss, although it wasn’t enough to affect my day-to-day life. However I needed to be tested annually. I asked the audiologist if this could be connected with PCOS. Not surprisingly, she had never heard of PCOS. Whenever I have a funny symptom, I always research to see if it could be PCOS related. Interestingly enough, I found that this hearing loss may be.
Hormonal changes can affect hearing loss and inner ear functions and there have been some studies done with women with PCOS regarding hearing loss.
I found a study done that was published in the journal Auris Nasus Larynx in August, 2012. Twenty-six women with PCOS and 25 control subjects were enrolled in the study. Age ranges for PCOS and control groups were 20–35 years. Hormonal and biochemical values including LH, LH/FSH, E2, testosterone, fasting glucose and fasting insulin were calculated. Each subject was tested with low- (250–2000 Hz) and high-frequency audiometry (4000–8000 Hz). The study showed that high-frequency hearing loss we significantly higher (p < 0.05) in PCOS patients than in control women. The researchers concluded that, “Our findings suggest that patients diagnosed with PCOS should be advised audiologic evaluation especially in the high frequency.” (1)
Another study was done in 2013 with 40 PCOS women and 25 controls. Each subject was tested with low (250–2000 Hz), high (4000–8000 Hz), and extended high frequency audiometry (8000–20000). PCOS patients showed a statistically significant difference was observed in 8000–14000 Hz in PCOS group compared to control group. The researchers concluded that, “PCOS patients have hearing impairment especially in extended high frequencies. Further studies are needed to help elucidate the mechanism behind hearing impairment in association with PCOS.”