Thursday March 25, 2021
Another long covid symptom
Corona can also damage your hearing
Sars-CoV-2 infection can cause hearing loss. This is the result of a study by researchers at the University of Manchester. As early as 2020 there were reports of patients who had had disorders in the ear after suffering from Covid 19. The audiologists Ibrahim Almufarrij and Kevin Munro therefore set out to look for Covid-19 cases in which there was simultaneous hearing impairment, tinnitus or dizziness caused by the inner ear. In this way, they collected a total of 56 different records, which they then systematically analyzed.
“I’ve received countless emails in the past few months from people reporting changes in their hearing or tinnitus after Covid-19,” says Munro. There is therefore an urgent need to examine the long-term effects of Covid-19 on the auditory system more closely. It is already known that hearing disorders occur in some patients with other virus infections. These include measles, mumps or virus-related meningitis.
The analysis of the data showed that Covid-19 patients actually experience more hearing disorders. 14.8 percent of patients said they had developed tinnitus or had it worse after being discharged from the hospital. Hearing impairment occurred in 7.6 percent of the patients. Most of them started suddenly, and both ears were affected. However, there have also been cases where this hearing deterioration developed gradually and was unilateral. According to the study, 7.2 percent said they suffered from dizziness caused by dysfunction in the inner ear. The disorders in the ear have been seen in both Covid 19 patients with severe and mild courses.
Relationships so far unclear
The results of the research suggest that there is a connection between Sars-CoV-2 infection and hearing impairment. How this comes about cannot yet be clarified. It is conceivable that the coronavirus directly affects the epithelial cells in the middle ear or that inflammation occurs in the auditory nerve or in the inner ear. However, it is also possible that the immune system reacts incorrectly due to the Sars CoV-2 infection and defense cells fight the tissue in the ear. The scientists also cite the disruption of the blood supply as a possible cause. Because it is already known that Sars-CoV-2 can also cause blood clotting disorders and thrombosis.
Even if hearing losses after Covid-19 occur relatively rarely, according to the experts they need more attention. The research duo, whose results were published in the “International Journal of Audiology”, therefore calls for further investigations. In addition, those affected are asked to seek treatment quickly in the event of hearing loss or severe hearing impairment so that the hearing loss can be reversed.