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In the spring of 2015, I noticed that there was a constant ringing in my right ear. Around June, I got in with an ENT, who referred me to an audiologist, who diagnosed me with hearing loss. Progressively, the hearing loss has gotten worse. I am a teen, so to me, this seems quite uncommon.

In the fall of 2015, I noticed a constant ringing in my left ear, as well as my right. I checked with my audiologist, and I had a mild hearing loss in my left ear, and a moderate/major hearing loss in my right.

I have also been having these dizzy spells that I like to call "flares", for the past year or so. During these "flares", I get extreme vertigo, fullness in my ear, and obnoxiously loud ringing in my ear. These attacks normally happen in only one ear at a time.

On top of all of this, I have been dealing with joint pain, fatigue, and muscle pain. My memory has gotten awful, and I like I'm in a brain fog all the time. My mom has lupus, so we are thinking it could be autoimmune.

My rhuematologist, ENT, and general doctor sent me for blood work, and my ANA was positive, along with my heat shock protein. This is all so confusing!

Does anyone advice, suggestions, or personal experiences they'd like to share? I have no idea what to do! I am on 500 mg of naproxen and tumeric for my joint pain/inflammation, and a bunch of natural supplements in hopes of feeling a little bit better.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!! PLEASE HELP!
Maddy, hi & welcome. I'm sorry to read about your issues, not fun. (I had problems from early adolescence myself.) One of the best things you could do: visit your library for one or more of the popular lupus hardcovers. Then just browse the sections that seem pertinent. (You don't need to read every line.) Have you seen the "sticky posts"? Those are the permanent info posts located above the user threads. You'll find diagnostic criteria (both formal & so-called "alternative criteria"), also info on rashes, reading resources, etc.

One lupus book I keep handy says that hearing involvement (or loss) in lupus is very rare. But the author adds that tinnitus (ringing) can occur due to the meds used by lupus patients (OTC NSAID's, hydroxychloroquine, etc.) He also mentions something rare (1 patient in 500) called autoimmune vestibulitis that CAN cause sudden hearing loss. Theoe patients are positive for 68-kd, an inner ear protein. Steroids reverse this deafness, so in your shoes, I'd certainly want to know if I'm positive for this 68-kd antibody!

I get a lot of ear ringing & sinus congestion (and major pain) when weather fronts are approaching, due to low barometric pressure. (Many lupus patients are walking barometers.) Have you noticed any weather pattern to your ear ringing?

What is "heat shock protein"?

In addition to positive ANA, do you know if other tests were out-of-range? (ANA alone is never diagnostic of lupus, or of any other condition, for that matter.) If this IS lupus, perhaps Naproxen isn't enough to control your symptoms... I've taken the mildest tier of prescription lupus meds, an antimalarial, for many years, that hydroxychloroquine I mentioned above (the brand name is Plaquenil). But people in severe flares &/or with major organ involvement (ike kidney, brain, heart, lungs, etc.) require stronger meds in addition: steroids are the 2nd tier, and immunosuppressants are the 3rd.

People with lupus, and those on the path toward it, often have deficiencies in key vitamins, like B-12, D, and Folate. You should have those levels tested, too. Also, people with lupus can be extremely photosensitive to UV rays: sun & tanning beds can trigger not only rashes but full-blown flares. So you should definitely ask about sun avoidance/protection. Anyhow... I hope this helps some. We'll look forward to hearing more. Sending hugs & hopes that you get clear & helpful input from your rheum. Bye for now, Vee

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