This has been a long, complicated and confusing year. Even though we have learned a lot about this novel virus and the importance of keeping a six-foot distance from others when out at Liberty Park, researchers are just now starting to scratch the surface of the long-term impact COVID-19 will have on patients.
A new study published in the International Journal of Audiology has linked COVID-19 with hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo.
Researchers from the University of Manchester and NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) reviewed data from 28 case reports/series and 28 cross-sectional studies. Through a series of self-reported questionnaires and a review of medical records, they determined that there was a 7.6% prevalence of hearing loss, 7.2% prevalence of vertigo and 14.8% prevalence of tinnitus after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Data used in the study was collected from adults with a wide range of COVID-19 symptom severity.
Link Between Viruses and Hearing Loss
According to Kevin Munro, lead author on this study and a professor of audiology, “It is well-known that viruses such as measles, mumps and meningitis can cause hearing loss; little is understood about the auditory effects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”
Even though the research published in March 2021 shows there is a link between the virus and hearing loss, more needs to be done. Munro and his team are currently working on a year-long study to further look at the impact COVID-19 has on the hearing of those who require hospitalization to treat their symptoms. He hopes to be able to determine which part of the auditory system is affected by the virus and to get a better estimate of the number of individuals who develop a hearing disorder following their COVID-19 diagnosis.
The new research will take into account additional factors that may affect hearing loss including other medical issues, critical care interventions and lifestyle.
Understanding the long-term impact COVID-19 has on all areas of the body will ensure that patients will seek help. Untreated hearing loss can have a number of physical, mental and emotional consequences, which could be further exacerbated by the virus.
To learn more about treating your hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, contact Bountiful Hearing Center today.