Two recent studies independently report mutations in the otoferlin (OTOF) gene are the cause of a rare temporary hearing loss caused by a high body temperature.
I have a hearing loss, and if I spot research on deafness when updating papers for my own research (see Footnote of previous post) I often take a peek.
Tonight I learnt that some people have deafness that is dependent on their body temperature, with a high temperature (say, a fever) inducing deafness. They recover some time after their body temperature has returned to normal.
In some ways it’s quite quirky, but knowing how molecules interact I can imagine how this might be possible.
The study I ran into was a Chinese study examining a collection of 73 Han Chinese patients with auditory neuropathy*. During this study, they uncovered a case of temperature-dependent hearing loss:
However, his hearing was affected by a slight change of body temperature. His mother found that his hearing in the morning is generally better than in the afternoon, and temperature measurements showed that his body temperature in the afternoon was generally 0.1-0.6˚ [˚C?] higher than that in the morning.
They tested his hearing loss, raising his body temperature during an extended hospital visit and found that
When his body temperature rose above 36.5°C, the boy’s hearing loss was severe (70-80dB HL) and this symptom could last for a whole day.