The ears

Balance problems are among the most common symptoms of APS but hearing impairment is often still under-recognised.

In a small empirical survey carried out by our charity, it was surprising to find that 67% of patients had experienced problems with their hearing.

It is being increasingly acknowledged that various middle ear symptoms, including tinnitus (a ringing in the ears) can occur as a result of APS, although the exact cause is yet unknown.

Sudden hearing loss can also occur because the blood supply to the nerves in the ear is reduced, as it is thought that the antiphospholipid antibodies can cause micro clots in these small vessels.

Hearing loss occurs in other autoimmune diseases such as lupus or Sjogrens syndrome, but even with these conditions patients will usually also have antiphospholipid antibodies.