Formerly this year, several patients reported hearing loss and tinnitus after being hospitalized with COVID-19. Considering it is common to suffer sudden hearing loss from many different types of viral and bacterial infections, it is no surprise that sudden hearing loss has been linked to the coronavirus.
Based on case reports it is noted that hearing loss is more often discovered as a later symptom after being diagnosed, rather than a initial symptom. However, researchers emphasize that there are not many “high quality studies” on this matter, more information on hearing loss related to covid will be coming out in the future.
Many medications used to treat the coronavirus carry a high risk of hearing loss, ringing in the ears, or vertigo as a side effect. These drugs include quinine, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Doctors and researchers are wondering if some of these side effects have been misdiagnosed as being caused by the virus itself.
A small case study was conducted in Israel with 16 test subjects. Half of which were asymptomatic individuals who had tested positive for COVID-19, the other 8 people tested negatively. When looking for signs of auditory nerve damage, they found no differences in the two groups. This is a good sign, however since the group tested was so small and asymptomatic, the study is not a very accurate representation on how the coronavirus effects ears and hearing. The researchers are now planning to perform similar studies on larger test studies.
What to do if you are experiencing hearing loss as a side effect from COVID-19?
Although there is not much knowledge today about the coronavirus related to hearing loss, more and more research is evolving each day relating to COVID-19. If you notice a difference in your hearing after recovering from the virus, please visit your doctor or book a hearing test with us as soon as possible to increase the chance of getting your hearing back!