Osteoporosis is a common metabolic disorder that causes progressive changes in bone structure. Metabolic changes and possible degeneration of middle ear ossicles or the cochlear capsule may cause hearing loss in patients with osteoporosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hearing function and otolaryngologic symptoms of patients with osteoporosis.
One hundred patients with osteoporosis, 50 osteopenic patients and 25 healthy controls were evaluated prospectively. Bone mineral density (BMD) of patients was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Otorhinolaryngologic examinations were performed on all patients together with an otologic symptoms survey, pure tone audiometry, word recognition test and distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE).
Patients with osteoporosis showed higher incidence of sensorineural type of hearing loss (SNHL). Mean pure tone audiometry findings of the patients and controls were significantly different in 500–8000 Hz frequencies (P < 0.01 for 500–2000 Hz, P < 0.05 for 4000–8000 Hz). Distortion product otoacoustic emission results of patients with osteoporosis at 6 kHz were significantly lower than controls and osteopenic patients (P < 0.05). Tinnitus complaints were remarkably higher in patients with osteoporosis (P < 0.01). No correlation was found between BMD scores and hearing levels.