A new study from the San Diego State University has revealed that older adults living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has more tendency to have hearing loss than those people who does not have the AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)-causing virus.
The researchers led by Peter Torre studied and assessed the hearing capacities of 262 men with an average of 57 years old and a total of 134 women with an average of 48 years old. With those numbers, 117 of the men and 105 of the women are HIV positive.
They found out that people living with HIV tend to have worse hearing capabilities even if they took into account several factors such as exposure to antiviral drugs against HIV and the viral load of the pathogen in their bodies.
The researches stated in the research, "To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that HIV-positive individuals have poorer hearing across the frequency range after many other factors known to affect hearing have been controlled for."
One expert, Dr. Eric Smouha, director of otology-neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City said that the study suggests that HIV may have an effect on the inner ear of the person.
He added, "This finding is fascinating and hopefully will be investigated further," he added. "Many adults with hearing loss have no readily identifiable cause, and this work may help identify viruses and other risk factors that escape detection now."
According to the study, hearing loss experienced by HIV patients actually affects both ends of the audible spectrum and is not impacted by the severity of the illness. They added that hearing loss among middle-aged HIV patients was on average 10 decibels worse than people who do not have the infection for both low and high tones.
The study was published in the journal JAMA Otalaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.