Does COVID-19 not affect hearing, or does it?

Does COVID-19 not affect hearing, or does it?

Coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19, is now a part of everyone’s live all around the world. It is a disease that is still ongoing and can spread through mouth or nose from someone who is infected whether be it by cough or by speech. This disease has led to many long-term complications.

Many says that getting COVID-19 caused them to have difficulty in breathing, coughing, chest pain, etc. But does covid effect hearing?

Loss of hearing caused by Covid

Although it has yet to be scientifically proven that COVID-19 could be a direct cause of hearing loss, it does not mean that it couldn’t, instead, these cases are rarely seen.

The virus can enter the ear – likely through the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of your nose. What this could cause would be an infection of both the cochlear, which affects hearing by the damage done to the inner ear or the nerve from the ear to the brain, causing permanent hearing loss and vestibular hair cells, which would affect the balance of hearing.

The first sign of sudden hearing loss

Cases have shown that it is very rare to have sudden hearing loss as a symptom of COVID-19 onset, but it is still possible.

In June 2020, it was reported that several citizens of Iran had hearing loss in one side of the ear, also had vertigo, and an Egyptian man that had only developed sudden hearing loss, without any other symptoms, tested positive for covid.

Loss of hearing as an after-effect of Covid

Hearing loss being an after-effect of COVID-19 is still rare, but more common than having it as a symptom of COVID-19 onset. Symptoms such as hearing loss, tinnitus, or dizziness could develop a few days or weeks later.

In October 2020, BMJ Journals reports a case study of a British man, 45 years old, who developed tinnitus and sudden hearing loss in one side of his ear, after being critically ill with COVID-19. Fortunately, after receiving steroid treatment for the hearing loss, he has restored part of his hearing.

Despite it not being scientifically proven that COVID-19 could be a direct cause of hearing loss, the case study has shown it is very likely that he had gotten hearing loss from COVID-19, as he did not consume any drugs that would have effect his hearing.

Overview of COVID-19 and hearing

In conclusion, there is more research that has to be done to prove that COVID-19 could actually be a direct cause of hearing loss and to what extent can COVID-19 affect one’s hearing. Even though COVID-19 has slowly become a norm, one should still seek medical attention immediately if there are signs of hearing loss, as this should not be taken lightly if it is really to be a symptom of COVID-19. One should consult the nearest audiologist for better hearing healthcare or get any type of hearing aids.

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