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The effect of L-thyroxine hormone therapy on hearing loss in hypothyroid patients

Abstract

Objective

The aim of this work was to study whether or not the hearing loss encountered in some hypothyroid patients can be improved with L-thyroxine hormone therapy, as other symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Study design

The study design was a prospective cohort one.

Patients and methods

This study included 30 patients of either sex who were proved to be in a hypothyroid state with an additional symptom of hearing impairment. The study was carried out in Alexandria Main University Hospital and was conducted in a prospective manner. All selected patients were proved to be in a hypothyroid state in the Endocrinology Department. Moreover, their symptom of hearing impairment was confirmed by thorough audiological examination supplemented by pure-tone audiometry plus tympanometry that was carried out in the ENT Department and the associate Audiology Unit. L-thyroxine treatment for hypothyroidism was initiated in all cases for 6 months to maintain a state of euthyroidism. At the end of 6 months, a repeat audiogram and tympanometry were performed in all patients in order to evaluate the efficacy of the said treatment protocol on the hearing in these patients. Cases proved to have hearing impairment irrelevant to the hypothyroid condition were excluded. Informed consent was compulsory for recruitment in this study.

Results

Post-treatment assessment revealed that variable improvement was achieved in 48% of ears, whereas 52% did not respond to the given treatment, with the impairment remaining nearly the same as it was before. Of the improved ears, in 15% of ears hearing levels were restored to normal hearing levels. Thereby, adherence to replacement therapy may reverse the hearing deficits in a few number of hypothyroid patients.

Conclusion

There is a definitive improvement in hearing with the use of L-thyroxine treatment of hypothyroid patients with hearing impairment.

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Correspondence to Samir I. Asal.

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Hussein, M.M., Asal, S.I., Salem, T.M. et al. The effect of L-thyroxine hormone therapy on hearing loss in hypothyroid patients. Egypt J Otolaryngol 33, 637–644 (2017). https://doi.org/10.4103/ejo.ejo_25_17

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Keywords

  • hearing loss
  • hypothyroidism
  • L-thyroxine treatment