Covid-19 And Hearing Impairment
According to studies, rapid hearing loss following infection or vaccination is conceivable but uncommon.
COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, has been associated with various long-term consequences, including heart and lung damage and neurological issues.
New research is now looking into whether coronavirus infection or vaccination might cause hearing loss.
Hearing loss is a possible consequence of both in rare circumstances.
This is not inherently shocking information.
A variety of viral and bacterial illnesses can cause hearing loss. But what about SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that caused the current pandemic in 2020-2022?
The newest research on this topic is reviewed below.
Hearing Loss Caused By Covid-19 Vaccinations.
In the February 2022 issue of JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, two studies looked into whether or not the COVID-19 vaccine could cause sudden hearing loss.
One study was carried out in Israel, and the other in the United States.
The hearing loss happened in only 91 people after the first treatment and 79 people after the second dose in the Israeli trial, which included around 2.5 million people.
Researchers say these numbers are not enough, but they are slightly higher than they thought. Pfizer-mRNA BioTech’s vaccination was administered to all.
The initial sign is a sudden loss of hearing.
According to case studies, acute hearing loss is an unusual sign of coronavirus onset.
According to a June 2020 article, many Iranian patients had dizziness and hearing loss in one ear.
In another case with COVID-19 and spontaneous sensorineural hearing loss, an Egyptian male who had no other coronavirus symptoms got the sudden hearing loss and then tested positive for coronavirus.
It should be noted that sudden hearing loss is a medical emergency. Seek medical treatment if you suddenly lose hearing in one ear. The sooner you receive therapy, the more probable you will regain your hearing.
Hearing Loss As A Secondary Symptom
Hearing loss, ringing in the ears, or feeling dizzy later in the illness is more common but still rare. This means these problems don’t happen when the first symptoms appear but rather days or weeks later.
A thorough evaluation of data on auditory problems published in February 2021 estimated:
7.6% of persons have hearing loss.
Tinnitus is reported by 14.8% of the population.
7.2% of people experience dizziness.
However, the researchers note the scarcity of “high-quality studies” on this subject. A massive, all-encompassing research effort is required.
COVID and Earache
There have been occasional reports that later forms of the virus, such as Delta, are more prone to produce ear pain than other virus mutations.
Medical experts say that Delta worsens upper respiratory symptoms, which puts more pressure on the ears and can lead to ear infections.
What about ringing in the ears and coronavirus?
COVID-19 and tinnitus are the subjects of a separate report. According to a recent study, both the virus and the vaccine are linked to tinnitus in some people.
However, we do not know whether the virus causes tinnitus or if other factors are involved. Ringing in the ears is widespread, and stress is frequently to blame.
Examples Of Case Studies
A case report was recently published in the peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ Case Reports. in October 2020 of a 45-year-old British male who had COVID-19 and suffered tinnitus and sudden hearing loss in one ear.
Fortunately, his hearing improved partially when he underwent steroid treatment for his hearing loss.
Even though the study’s authors said it’s impossible to prove that COVID-19 caused his hearing loss, it looks pretty likely that it did. This is especially true since he didn’t take any drugs that can cause hearing loss as a side effect (this is called “ototoxicity”).
Furthermore, the virus has been found in autopsy reports in the middle ear bones. In this case report, a German man developed acute hearing loss due to COVID-19 pneumonia.
High-Quality Research Is Required.
Perhaps most striking so far are the findings of a British survey, which discovered that roughly one in every ten coronavirus patients experienced hearing loss or tinnitus eight weeks later.
The scientists found this surprising, but they also pointed out that hearing loss and tinnitus may be unrelated or just indirectly associated (e.g., as a side effect of medication).
To put it another way, more research on the long-term consequences of coronavirus on hearing is desperately needed.
“High-quality studies are required to assess the acute effects of COVID-19 on the audiovestibular system and to comprehend the long-term hazards,” the authors of a brief systematic review on the topic published in June 2020.
Is Covid-19 Harmful To The Auditory System?
A tiny Israeli study looked at 16 patients, half of whom tested positive for COVID-19 and the other half uninfected (the control group).
When they investigated for indicators of auditory nerve injury, they discovered no difference between the two groups.
The researchers used otoacoustic emissions (OAE) and auditory brainstem response (ABR) measures to examine hearing function.
The study should be taken with caution because just 16 people took part and all coronavirus patients were asymptomatic, which means they did not feel ill due to the infection.
The researchers intend to do a much larger trial with patients who have experienced severe COVID-19 problems.
The use of antiviral drugs for coronavirus can cause permanent hearing damage or tinnitus.
Several coronavirus treatments have a significant chance of causing hearing loss, ringing in the ears, or dizziness as a side effect.
Quinine, chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine are examples of these drugs.
“These antiviral medications have recognised side effects, including tinnitus and hearing loss, and the symptoms may be misinterpreted as being caused by COVID-19,” the authors of the previous systematic review write.
COVID-19 “far distance” patients with dizziness and balance issues.
Some coronavirus patients, known as “COVID long-striders,” have experienced long-term illness and unusual symptoms. In a poll of roughly 650 long-distance travellers, one-third reported ear pain, and two-thirds reported dizziness or vertigo.
Only one patient complained of hearing loss. According to the research overview, there seems to be “no expected pattern” in when or why someone suffers these symptoms.
Conclusion On Covid And Hearing Loss.
More research is required to comprehend how coronavirus impacts hearing and balance thoroughly. We still don’t know how much coronavirus causes hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance problems.
We will learn more as the pandemic diminishes and the study concentrates on the long-term repercussions. Stay tuned for more information.
You should see a doctor if you are concerned about the coronavirus and your hearing.
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