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Autoimmune diseases can cause hearing loss from autoantibodies affecting the inner ear and auditory nerve. It is not terribly common but does happen. Your previous false positive syphilis test meets one criteria for lupus. Nephritis is significant in your past as well, as there likely is uncertainty about what the actual cause was. An elevated sed rate occurs in AI disease because of the inflammation present. Your rashes brought by sun exposure is another criteria, and could be biopsied to help with diagnosis. The criteria do not need to occur together, they can be spread out by years. Most rheums will not pay much attention to an ANA of 1:40, but with repeat testing, it may run higher at times. You should tell the rheum all of this info, and he/she will likely want to run some additional tests. Good luck and keep us posted if you have other questions.





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