Cases of the mumps are becoming more and more common in Charleston, especially among high school and college students. So far, 70 students at the College of Charleston have been diagnosed, with additional cases seen at Summerville High School.
There are many medical complications associated with the mumps, including:
- Meningitis (inflammation of the brain)
- Orchitis (inflammation of the testicles)
- Mastitis (inflammation of the breasts)
- Parotitis (inflammation of parotid glands)
- Oophoritis (inflammation of the ovaries)
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
In rare cases, these complications can lead to fertility issues, neurological damage and even death.
What Is the Mumps?
The mumps is a viral infection that primarily affects the salivary glands. It spreads by transmission of saliva, usually through coughing or sneezing. Symptoms take about two weeks to appear and include pain while chewing/swallowing, fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite.
When Should I See a Doctor if I Suspect Mumps?
If you experience a combination of any of the above symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor right away. While complications are rare, you want to be diagnosed right away so you don’t spread the virus to others.
There is no cure for mumps, but it typically clears up on its own. In the meantime, your doctor may recommend:
- Getting plenty of rest
- Drinking lots of fluids to stay hydrated
- Taking painkillers such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- Applying warm or cool compresses to the swollen glands
How Can the Mumps Cause Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss associated with the mumps is typically sensorineural (meaning it is caused by damage to the inner ear) and single-sided. While experts don’t fully understand the relationship between the two, most generally agree that the mumps causes damage to the cochlea (part of the inner ear), auditory nerve (pathway for sound signals to the brain) and/or brainstem.
Can the Mumps Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent mumps is to get the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. The first dose is typically given between 12-15 months of age and is 78 percent effective at preventing mumps, and the second dose is given between four and six years of age and is 88 percent effective.
To learn more about the link between mumps and hearing loss, contact your provider today!
Learn about Hearing Loss:
- Allergies and hearing loss
- Do antibiotics treat hearing loss in children?
- The link between malaria drugs and hearing loss treatment
Our Central Charleston Area Audiologists Office Locations
180 Wingo Way, Suite 103
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
2295 Henry Tecklenburg Dr
Charleston, SC 29414