Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that comes from being bitten by an infected black-legged tick. Prompt treatment with antibiotics can rid your body of the infection. However, if left untreated, Lyme disease to more serious health complications, including hearing loss.
Study Links Lyme Disease To Increased Risk of Hearing Loss
A 2018 study examined 216 patients with tick-borne illnesses and asked them about any ear-related symptoms. Tinnitus was the most commonly reported symptom (76.5%), followed by vertigo and dizziness (53.7%) and hearing loss in one ear (16.7%).
Why Is Hearing Affected?
Untreated Lyme disease can spread and affect many different parts of your body. This includes your joints, heart, nervous system, and the auditory system as well.
Protect Your Hearing With Lyme Disease Prevention Tips
To protect your ears and avoid any complications that could come with Lyme disease, take these steps to avoid being bitten by a tick.
- Ticks can be found in grassy, heavily wooded areas. If you’re hiking somewhere like Martin Park Nature Center, make sure to stay on the designated trails and not walk through low bushes or long grass.
- Use insect repellent and cover up as much of your body as you can by wearing long pants, long sleeves and a hat.
- Check your body for ticks after returning and make sure to shower as well. Ticks often stay on the body for hours before attaching and infecting you.
- If you notice any ticks on yourself or anyone else in your household (including pets) remove them immediately with a pair of tweezers. If possible, save the tick in a plastic bag for identification and wash the bite with soap and water.
Calling Your Doctor
Call your doctor and inform them if you’ve been bitten by a tick, or if you believe you have and are experiencing symptoms such as:
- Red bull’s-eye-shaped rash
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Headaches and/or neck stiffness
- Body aches
If you are exhibiting symptoms of Lyme disease or the deer tick was attached for more than 36 hours, your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics.
Get Help for Signs of Hearing Loss
If you have Lyme disease and are experiencing signs of hearing loss, such as voices sounding muffled or struggling to hear in places with background noise, make an appointment for a hearing test. The sooner hearing loss can be diagnosed and treated (most commonly with hearing aids), the likelier it is that you can help prevent further damage to your ears.
For more questions or to schedule an appointment, contact Hearing Care by Hough today.