With each passing day, scientists are learning more and more about the coronavirus and its long-term health effects. While heart disease, lung damage and neurological disorders are the most established complications associated with COVID-19, some experts suspect that hearing loss should be added to this list.
Is Hearing Loss a Symptom of COVID-19?
While rare, more reports are coming out about the potential association between COVID-19 and hearing loss.
A review published in February 2021 looked at data from 138 adults admitted to the hospital because of the severity of their coronavirus symptoms. Following discharge, these patients were monitored for eight weeks. This included collecting a detailed clinical history containing questions about hearing and tinnitus. The researchers found that:
- 7.6% reported hearing loss.
- 14.8% reported tinnitus.
- 7.2% reported vertigo.
Another report also conducted in the UK determined that one out of every ten patients diagnosed with COVID-19 reported developing hearing loss or tinnitus eight weeks following infection. While these results are similar to the previous study, the researchers noted that hearing loss and tinnitus could have been unrelated to the viral infection.
Is Tinnitus a Symptom of COVID-19?
A case report published in October 2020 followed a 45-year-old British man who developed tinnitus and sudden hearing loss after suffering from severe symptoms of COVID-19. While the researchers were unable to link the two conditions, they believe it is very likely that the hearing loss and tinnitus were caused by the virus.
How to Keep Your Ears Safe
Additional research is still being conducted to determine if there is a link between hearing loss and COVID-19. In the meantime, in order to protect hearing health, you should do everything you can avoid catching this virus. Experts recommend practicing social distancing, wearing a mask when out at the Village at Westlake or other crowded areas. The best way to keep your ears safe is to get vaccinated, as the COVID-19 vaccination reduces the risk of COVID-19 and its potentially severe complications.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “All COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use in the United States helped protect people against COVID-19, including severe illness, in clinical trial settings.”
To learn more about protecting your hearing or to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, contact Victory Hearing & Balance Center today.