Hearing Loss - A PCOS Symptom? - PCOS Diva
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Hearing Loss – A PCOS Symptom?

Hearing loss concept.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.”

(1)  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21862266

(2) http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2013/482689/

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  1. Hi Amy,
    I met you last year at the PCOS Foundation Symposium. I am in dire need of your help. I of all people should know how to treat my PCOS but I have been neglectful and am now asking for help. I understand how all these women can get so easily discouraged but I need to make a change.

  2. This was an interesting read, thanks for posting. Now to find a doctor that will actually look into this… I am definitely having some trouble with my hearing.

  3. Hi Amy,
    Loving all your information, thank you!
    I’m glad I’m not crazy thinking that the two might be linked. For the past several years I have had buzzing sounds, in one of my ears, it would switch off an on. At times after the humming, it would sound like my hearing just shut off! I could no longer hear very well from that ear. I have yet to get it checked out, but will do so. Last year after having bleeding for 4 months straight! after I stopped nursing my 2nd son, I was diagnosed with PCOS, (cysts on my ovaries) with thick uterine lining….(negative for cancer! Amen!) So I’ve turned my life around with new ways of eating and loads of supplements, just trying to find the right combo for me. I have yet to come across some ladies with PCOS that were able to conceive normally and had excessive bleeding such as myself. Have you?

  4. Well i guess that kinda makes sense. When i found out that i had PCOS i ticked alot off the symptoms boxes. I was always under the impression that my Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) was entirely because of my Mum since it is supposedly hereditary and shes partially deaf in one ear, and my hearing isn’t quite up to par.

  5. I am not sure if mine is PCOS related. I was never diagnosed as having PCOS until 2004 when I misclicked a health link and found the research site for Northwestern University and the symptoms of PCOS. I did their blood test and followed up with my own Doctor and was released of 44 years of blaming myself at that very moment. I have had other issues and have stumbled across people with over the years, online who have similar issues to mine- hearing being one of them. Then I read yours here and its possible that they aren’t related but perhaps they are- i have the most difficult with of all things- surround sound. It sounds like a big blurr to me and my guy cant figure out why I didn’t hear certain movie lines or information on TV.

  6. I have had severe pcos since I was 15 yrs old. My docs don’t have me on anything to treat it,except every three months I have to take provera to start my cycle. Should I be on anything else or doing anything else for it? I have soo many health problems because of it to the point every time I go to a new doc they are amazed and shocked about how young I am and the health issues and meds I take and have. I’m 31yrs old. I can’t take birth control pills for some reason they all make me sick even the low dose ones!! I also take 1,000 mg of metformin a day as well. Please help!!!

  7. I also have PCOS and this makes total sense. It’s not severe….but definitely over the years (and weight/hormone fluctuations) my hearing goes ranges from “good” to “so so” to “what!??!” at any given time…..my husband and I usually joke about it but it DOES make sense…. Great post!!

  8. I’ve just been diagnosed in the last month…my problem lately seems to be that I’m insanely more sensitive to high-pitched sounds, like kids squealing and keys jingling. Not sure if this is related, but I’m beginning to wonder, especially after reading this…still learning about PCOS, but I’m at least thankful that all of the random symptoms I’ve been experiencing for the last 8-10 months suddenly have a common explanation!