The Prevalence of Hearing Impairments in Women with Silicone Breast Implants

Assaf Greenbaum*, Gilad Halpert, Arad Dotan, Shaked Shivatzki, Harald Heidecke, Ricky Kaplan Neeman, Michael Ehrenfeld, Amit Wolfovitz, Howard Amital, Yael Henkin, Yehuda Shoenfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many women with silicone breast implants (SBIs) report non-specific complaints, including hearing impairments. Hearing impairment appears to be associated with a number of autoimmune conditions. The current study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and severity of hearing impairments among women with SBIs and to explore potential improvements in their hearing capability following implant removal. Symptomatic women with SBIs (n = 160) underwent an initial anamnestic interview, and women who reported hearing impairments were selected for the study. These women completed self-report telephone questionnaires regarding their hearing difficulties. Some of these women underwent subjective and objective hearing tests. Out of 159 (50.3%) symptomatic women with SBIs, 80 reported hearing impairments, including hearing loss (44/80; 55%) and tinnitus (45/80; 56.2%). Five out of seven (71.4%) women who underwent an audiologic evaluation exhibited hearing loss. Of women who underwent silicone implant removal, 27 out of 47 (57.4%) reported the improvement or resolution of their hearing complaints. In conclusion, hearing impairment is a frequent complaint among symptomatic women with SBIs, and tinnitus was found to be the most common complaint. A significant reduction in hearing difficulties was observed following silicone implant removal. Further studies using larger populations are needed to verify the occurrence of hearing impairments in these women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalDiseases
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Funding

FundersFunder number
Yaron and Gila Shemie Foundation

    Keywords

    • autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA)
    • autoimmunity
    • autonomic nervous system
    • hearing impairments
    • silicone breast implants
    • tinnitus

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