Audiometric hearing status of individuals with and without multiple sclerosis

M. Samantha Lewis, David J. Lilly, Michele M. Hutter, Dennis N. Bourdette, Garnett P. McMillan, Mary A. Fitzpatrick, Stephen A. Fausti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present investigation was to determine whether differences exist in audiometric hearing status between individuals with and without multiple sclerosis (MS) and between individuals with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and individuals with secondary progressive MS (SPMS). Forty-seven subjects with MS (26 with RRMS and 21 with SPMS) and forty-nine control subjects without MS completed both a comprehensive case-history questionnaire and a conventional hearing evaluation. Statistical analyses, accounting for the potential confounding factors of age, sex, noise exposure, and use of ototoxic medications, revealed significant differences in hearing thresholds between subjects with and without MS at select audiometric test frequencies (p < 0.05). At these audiometric test frequencies, the subjects with MS had poorer hearing thresholds. Additional analyses revealed significant differences in hearing sensitivity at select audiometric frequencies between the subjects with RRMS and the subjects with SPMS, such that those with SPMS had poorer hearing thresholds. These findings have significant clinical implications for practitioners working with patients with MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-678
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Audiometric hearing status
  • Auditory function
  • Hearing
  • Hearing loss
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pure tone thresholds
  • Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis
  • Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis
  • Speech reception threshold
  • Word recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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