It seems like the Coronavirus knows no limits! Because new research found that there is a link between COVID-19 and hearing loss with patients after being hospitalised. As a result of this it is vital to get your hearing tested by an audiologist soon after you are out of danger with the virus. We at Strauss Audiology can help you by performing the correct tests.
High viral loads in ears
Researchers from John Hopkins School of Medicine looked at three patients who died of COVID-19. They found there is a link between COVID-19 and hearing loss who had high SARS-CoV-2 loads in the mastoid (adjacent to the middle ear). This was a man in his 60s and a woman in her 80s. While the virus was found only in the right middle ear of the woman, the team found the virus in the man’s left and right mastoids, as well as his left and right middle ears.
COVID-19 knows no boundaries
The sample size of the study was very small, but it’s not the first to suggest a link between the virus and ear problems. A study published in April this year found that COVID-19 can result in acute otitis media (a type of ear infection that causes inflammation and infection behind the eardrum). Another study, also published in April, on asymptomatic patients with no history of hearing problems, found that their hearing abilities deteriorated once the infection had passed. So, as a result, it is very important to have your ears checked by an audiologist and Strauss Audiology can help you.
Ears of symptomatic people should be screened
The findings of the study, therefore, suggest that clinicians screen the ears of people who display COVID-19 symptoms before they perform middle ear procedures. In addition, they recommend extra studies looking whether there is a link between COVID-19 and hearing loss and the audio vestibular system in general.
More than 10% of COVID-19 patients’ hearing decrease
A substantial number of patients noticed a hearing problem when questioned eight weeks after discharge from hospital for COVID-19. 121 patients took part in the survey by telephone. This study was done by University of Manchester audiologists supported by the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).
When asked about changes to their hearing 16 people (13.2%) reported their hearing was worse. But another eight people reported that their hearing worsened and another eight reported tinnitus.
COVID-19 and hearing loss
The results, published in a letter to the International Journal of Audiology, has subjective evidence that COVID-19 has a long-term impact on health, and possibly hearing.
People with auditory neuropathy have difficulty hearing when there is background noise, such as in a noisy restaurant. But a condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome is also linked to auditory neuropathy which is also known to have an association with SARS CoV-2.
However, the researchers say more research is needed to be able to identify why there is an association between the virus and hearing problems.
More research is needed
The review identified reports of hearing loss and tinnitus, but there were only a small number of studies and the quality of evidence was low. There is an urgent need for high-quality studies to investigate the link between COVID-19 and hearing loss.
If anything, be sure to visit us at Strauss Audiology on a regular basis to ensure your hearing health is the best it can be. Because it is important to have a healthy, happy, sound life.
About Strauss Audiology
Strauss Audiology is a professional audiology business in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, offering expert, effective hearing advice that is tailored to clients’ unique hearing needs. We conduct hearing evaluations, hearing tests and vertigo assessments, and provide a range of solutions to improve and protect clients’ hearing. This includes providing hearing aids to Cape Town clients. With 13 years of experience, and with the qualifications and certifications to deliver leading hearing care, you can trust us to take care of your hearing needs.
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