Shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle pain: the list of possible long-term consequences with Covid-19 is long. New studies show that problems with the ears can apparently also be a permanent symptom.
An infection with the coronavirus can lead to consequential damage, even if the course is mild. In most cases, those affected complain of long-term neurological disorders such as a loss of the sense of smell or exhaustion and shortness of breath. Serious Covid 19 illnesses can lead to dangerous lung or brain damage. But other parts of the body can also be immensely damaged, such as the middle ear.
Long-term complication: sudden hearing loss due to Corona?
British ear, nose and throat doctors described the first case of sudden and permanent hearing loss as a result of Covid-19 as early as 2020 according to the “Pharmazeutische Zeitung”. A 45 year old man with Asthma had been treated in hospital for a corona infection and suffered tinnitus in the left ear as a result of the disease, followed by sudden complete hearing loss in the same ear.
What is tinnitus? With tinnitus – also known as ringing in the ears – those affected perceive humming, booming or whistling noises in their ears that do not want to go away. Depending on the severity, this can be a heavy burden.
The doctors did not find any inflammation in the ear or other possible causes, such as rheumatoid arthritis, influenza or HIV infection, that could lead to sudden hearing loss. They therefore suspected a causal relationship between the SARS-CoV-2-Infection and hearing loss. This is supported by the fact that coronaviruses could attack the epithelial cells in the middle ear.
Study reveals how common hearing damage and tinnitus occur with Covid-19
Now, case reports of corona patients who complain of impaired hearing and tinnitus are increasing. “In the past few months, I’ve received countless emails from people who have reported changes in their hearing or a Tinnitus reported after Covid-19, “said Kevin Munro, an audiologist at the University of Manchester.” There is therefore an urgent need to study the long-term effects of Covid-19 on the auditory system. ”
Together with his colleague Ibrahim Almufarrij, Munro carried out a meta study. They evaluated 56 examinations in which an increased incidence of hearing impairment in the course of a corona infection was described.
The result of the study published in the “International Journal of Audiology”: On average, 14.8 percent of Covid-19 patients reported that their tinnitus got worse or that such a ringing in the ear reappeared after they were discharged from the hospital. 7.6 percent suffered prolonged hearing loss. This usually started abruptly and affected both ears, but there have also been a few cases in which hearing loss gradually developed or only affected one ear. The hearing impairment occurred in both mild and severe patients – the majority of them were male.
According to the study authors, these results suggest that Covid-19 can also affect the ears and hearing aid. However, the causes have not yet been conclusively researched. There could be several mechanisms by which the infection directly or indirectly attacks the hearing aid, they explain. The virus itself, circulatory disorders or the immune system come into question.
Connection between tinnitus and Covid-19 already proven
An international team of researchers from England, Belgium, the USA, the Netherlands, Sweden and India had already dealt with the question of how a corona infection affects people with tinnitus in 2020. For this purpose, data from 3,103 tinnitus patients from 48 countries were evaluated.
The result: 40 percent of those who suffered from Covid 19 symptoms said that their tinnitus had also worsened. Seven people also stated that they suspect that the tinnitus was only triggered by Corona. The researchers concluded that there was a link between the infection and the tinnitus. A study by German researchers from the Tinnitus Center at the University of Regensburg was able to confirm this. Accordingly, an increased stress level – triggered by the Corona-Pandemie – act as a tinnitus trigger.
Pay more attention to hearing problems with Corona
Reports of hearing loss as a result of Covid-19 are so far rather rare, but doctors advise Covid-19 patients to be careful and have themselves examined at the first signs of hearing loss. This is especially important because rapid therapy with so-called corticosteroids can reverse the hearing loss.
[ source link ]
Doctors warn sudden symptoms rare underestimated