mumps virus<br />

Mumps is an infectious disease caused by a virus that can affect multiple body parts, including the ears. As a result, this virus can lead to hearing loss. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of related hearing loss so that it can be identified and treated quickly. This blog will explore what to look for, how this virus affects hearing loss, and how to treat it.

What is mumps?

Mumps is a virus from the same family as measles and other common respiratory infections. It is spread through infected saliva and is more likely to affect children than adults. Complications of mumps can include inflammation and swelling in other parts of the body, encephalitis, meningitis, and hearing loss. Although, only 1-4% of people infected with this virus experience hearing loss.

How does mumps cause hearing loss?

MMR Vaccine
Hearing impairment from mumps is usually single-sided and permanent. Experts suspect the virus can attack the inner ear’s cochlea, a snail-shaped organ, damaging the tiny hair cells that transmit nerve impulses to the brain. This damage can lead to permanent hearing loss.

The MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine effectively protects against mumps. It should be administered around 12-15 months, between the ages of 4 and 6, and possibly in the teen years. The long-term effectiveness of the MMR vaccine is estimated to be around 80 percent.

It is important to note that most cases occur in people who have never been vaccinated. Therefore, vaccinating for all preventable illnesses is essential for protecting hearing health.

What are the symptoms?

Several symptoms, include:

  • swollen salivary glands
  • pain when chewing or swallowing
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • muscle aches
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • Some rare but serious complications include inflammation of the testicles, ovaries, breasts, pancreas, and brain, fluid buildup around the brain and spinal cord, and hearing loss.

    Be aware of the signs and symptoms. You should seek medical attention early and start treatment immediately if necessary. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent further complications.

man with mumps contributing to hearing loss


This used to be a common childhood disease. Still, cases decreased significantly after the MMR vaccine became available in 1967. While it is now considered a rare disease, with only a few hundred cases each year in the United States, outbreaks still occur, especially among people with prolonged close contact. MMR vaccine can protect children from this virus and is very safe and effective. Prevention is up to 90% of people. Most children don’t experience any side effects from the vaccine. Children usually receive two doses of the MMR vaccine as part of the childhood immunization schedule. However, public health authorities may recommend a third dose of the vaccine for people in an outbreak or those at increased risk for the virus and hearing loss.

Treatment for hearing loss

Mumps and hearing loss are closely connected, as it can lead to hearing loss in up to 1/3 of cases. If you or someone you know has been recently diagnosed with mumps, seeking treatment for any hearing loss that may have occurred as soon as possible is essential. It is recommended to schedule an appointment with a hearing healthcare professional as quickly as possible to assess the extent of hearing loss. Salem Audiology Clinic can help in the event you feel you have any degree of hearing loss. Early detection and diagnosis are vital to preserving and restoring your hearing.