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Hearing loss caused by COVID – 19: Surprising study confirms the connection

Believe it or not, it is not uncommon for viral infections to cause hearing issues.  Rubellameasles, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, West Nile Virus, and cytomegalovirus are some of the common felons that make people Google hearing aid mumbai price.

Speaking of viruses, how can we not address the one that flipped our lives within the course of a year! So, is there a connection between COVID – 19 and hearing loss?

Researchers at the Manchester Centre for Audiology and Deafness (ManCAD) conducted a systematic review of 56 published studies that explored the connection between COVID – 19 and auditory complications. Although sudden and immediate hearing loss with the onset of COVID – 19 is rare at best, auditory complications have emerged as “long COVID – 19”. Long COVID – 19 is a range of effects and symptoms that persist weeks or even months after the initial onset of the infection.

The review made the following noteworthy revelations –

  1. 14.8% of patients experienced tinnitus
  2. 7.6% suffered hearing loss
  3. 7.2% reported rotatory vertigo.

Tinnitus (Ringing in the ear)

Tinnitus is a fairly common auditory disorder affecting close to 15% to 20% of people, especially, elderly people. When one is affected by tinnitus they hear ringing, whooshing, squeals, clicking, hissing, humming, or roaring; even though these sounds are not present in the surrounding environment.

Tinnitus can affect you in one or both ears. Among the many plausible causes of tinnitus, the ones that seem most pertinent are –

  • Stress
  • Blood vessel disorder
  • Hormonal fluctuation, especially, among women
  • Restricted blood flow to the neck and head

Hearing Loss

Although there is limited research and “high-quality studies are needed”, hearing loss has been reported by Iranian patients and another small study found 1 (20%) out of its 5 subjects who reported sensorineural hearing loss, tested positive for the COVID – 19 virus in RTPCR test. Owing to the communicable nature of the infection and the raging pandemic, quality studies employing accurate audiometric tests have not been conducted on a large scale. So, the number of patients who have exhibited hearing loss as a symptom of COVID – 19 is still inconclusive. However, hearing loss is still considered to be a rare symptom of COVID – 19.

Vertigo

The sensation of feeling dizzy and falling off balance is known as vertigo. You may also experience a spinning sensation, blackouts, or feel pulled towards one direction. Such sensations often result in sweating, nausea, headache, sweating, and abnormal movement of the eye. The underlying causes of vertigo that are most relevant for the current situation are –

  • Antibiotic
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Steroids
  • Viral infection.

Patients often confuse dizziness with vertigo. While dizziness mostly causes the feeling of being out of balance or wobbliness; Vertigo makes you feel like the space around you is spinning.

The Potential Causes

The following causes have been implicated by experts for causing auditory complications in COVID – 19 Patients.

  1. The cochlear nerve takes auditory information from the inner ear to the brain. Viral infections can cause damage to this nerve.
  2. There are tiny hair cells in the cochlea that helps us hear. Stress emanating from the infection can restrict blood flow to these cells which can cause damage to these delicate hair cells.
  3. Your immune system can rage a war against your hearing by causing more inflammation.
  4. Suppression of the immune system due to COVID – 19 can cause secondary bacterial and fungal infections in the ear leading to complications.

Conclusion

Be aware of your own body and identify even the slightest discomfort before it gets worse. And, come to us immediately so our seasoned experts can design an effective treatment plan with the best hearing aids.

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