ClinicSpeak: auditory problems in MSers are common

The majority of MSers complain of hearing problems. I learn something new every day. #MSBlog #MSResearch #ClinicSpeak

“The following are the recent survey results of hearing, or auditory, problems in MSers. I am struck by how common auditory symptoms are in MSers. This is something that I don’t regularly ask about. When you read the comments it is clear that many of you have brought the symptoms to the attention of your MS team and in general it hasn’t been acknowledged as being due to MS. It is clear this problem needs to be looked into; I suspect the subtle hearing problems are impacting on your quality of life and ability to function. It is clear more needs to be done about this problem; I suspect auditory rehabilitation may be useful to treat some of these symptoms. It is clear that MSers acquire many more hidden disabilities than the casual observer notices. The burden of this disease is much greater than we realise. Hopefully with the adoption of early effective treatments and treat-2-target of NEDA (no evident disease activity) with ZeTo (zero tolerance) we can prevent most MSers developing auditory symptoms. Surely preventing auditory problems must be better than having to treat them?”

“Please be aware that many of these symptoms can be addressed via an auditory rehabilitation clinic. If you have hearing problems that are affecting your ability to function on a day-to-day basis please raise these with your MS nurse or neurologist.”

Mustillo P. Auditory deficits in multiple sclerosis: a review. Audiology. 1984;23(2):145-64.

This article reviews available clinical and psychophysical data concerning the effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) on basic auditory processes. On the basis of the data, it is suggested that the presence of auditory deficits should be sought in MS patients. This is especially important in light of recent psychophysical evidence suggesting that subtle auditory problems present in affected individuals may not always be detectable via conventional clinical testing. These data also provide an alternate means of interpreting various aspects of impaired auditory functioning in MS patients, and aid in generating new hypotheses regarding the possible consequences of demyelination on normal auditory perception. Finally, new ways of testing such hypotheses are proposed, and possible directions for future research are suggested.

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.


  • Well said Proff ! , my tinitus is my most annoying symptom by far ! . I've tried TCA's , magnesium supplements to no avail ! .. Getting used to it now I guess

  • Thanks for this post, it's very interesting. When I had a bad relapse some time ago I had heightened sensitivity to taste. I tried a strawberry and the taste was so strong I couldn't eat it. I've since had strawberries and they are fine now to eat. My MS has resulted in heightened sensitivity to noise too.

By Prof G



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