Ear, Nose and Throat
Elizabeth A. Kelly, M.D.
March 11, 2020
Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease (AIED)
Autoimmune inner ear diseases are like other autoimmune processes, where your own immune system is starting to attack or fight some of your normal structures. So rather than it directing itself towards for materials or something that's coming into the body, it will attack a normal structure such as the inner ear. The cause is thought to be related to an abnormal response from your immune system. Sometimes it's thought to be related to a genetic predisposition, sometimes it can be thought to be an environmental exposure that can lead to that. So patients with autoimmune inner ear disease often present with fluctuations in their hearing, so they may have a sudden drop in their hearing over time or it may fluctuate from day to day. They can also have some dizziness that can be spontaneous in onset as well. With autoimmune inner ear disease we don't have a cure. We usually treat the symptoms for when it's fluctuating. Autoimmune inner ear disease is usually treated with steroids, often the sooner that we start the course of steroids, the better chance that the symptoms will improve.
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