A new study has found significantly higher prevalence rates of dizziness/imbalance, falls, and hearing loss in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) than among the general population in the United States.
The study, published in the American Journal of Audiology, reported that numbness of the feet was related to falling and interrupted blood flow to vestibular and auditory arteries likely contributed to hearing loss and dizziness.
The research team conducted a cross-sectional survey of 135 adults with SCD who were identified by membership in an SCD association in the United States. The questionnaire was developed by 2 hematologists and delivered online and via traditional mail.
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One of the most concerning results was the fact that most of the respondents did not seek medical help for dizziness/imbalance, which might suggest that patients are unaware of the connection between SCD and these symptoms.
Nelson MD, Bennett DM, Lehman ME, Okonji AI. Dizziness, falls, and hearing loss in adults living with sickle cell disease. Am J Audiol. Published online October 13, 2022. doi:10.1044/2022_AJA-22-00059