Covid-19 and Hearing Loss: Is There a Connection?

by | Sep 15, 2020 | Hearing Loss, Industry News, Patient Resources

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been affecting the world for months. The common symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, coughing, and a sore throat.

But, like all new viruses, SARS-CoV-2 is still adapting, and we’re learning more about it each day as researchers continue working on a vaccine.

A recent article from AARP shares a list of the lesser-known symptoms of COVID-19, and included in their list is hearing loss.

Hearing loss has been suspected of having a connection to COVID-19 for some time now, and still, little is known for sure. Here’s what we do know.

COVID-19 and Hearing Loss

According to AARP, several reports have documented what appears to be a connection between hearing loss and a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Additionally, these symptoms of hearing loss — including tinnitus, or a persistent ringing in the ears — may last longer than most of the other, more common, symptoms of the coronavirus.

This makes a possible connection between the virus and hearing loss even more concerning.

What’s causing this hearing loss in patients suffering from COVID-19? The SARS-CoV-2 virus has been reportedly located within the middle ear of coronavirus patients.

The location of a virus can cause inflammation of the surrounding area, even leading to a separate infection. In the ear, tinnitus and hearing loss could quickly occur with an infection, as could dizziness and imbalance.

It’s important to note that there is not yet enough evidence to fully claim that hearing loss is a symptom of COVID-19.

Most of the current evidence is, at this point, anecdotal. Until more research is done on the matter, the connection between the two is merely enough to raise concerns.

More Research is Being Conducted

With the ever-changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic, rest assured that research is being done each and every day to better understand this virus and its possible long-lasting symptoms.

One study was recently conducted in the U.K. questioning patients who recovered from COVID-19 about lasting symptoms of the virus, including their hearing. 13% of the participants reported that their hearing was worse after being hospitalized.

Gathering data like this is the first step in determining if hearing loss is a severe result of contracting COVID-19. And while it seems as though some patients may indeed be suffering from it, there could be other explanations, as well.

They may suspect they have hearing loss when, in reality, things like face masks and social distancing just make it harder to hear others.

What to Do if You Suspect Hearing Loss

If you suspect hearing loss in yourself or a loved one, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a hearing or tinnitus assessment.

Visit our website or call us at (336) 295-1064. Your health and safety are our top priority, and patients will be screened for symptoms upon entering.

Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment when you first suspect problems with your hearing. We can’t wait to help you keep your hearing on track!

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Dr. Shannon Frymark Au.D., CCC-A

Shannon Frymark, Au.D., CCC-A, audiologist, was raised in Greensboro, NC. Dr. Shannon’s passion for the field of audiology stems from personal experience. Born with a hearing loss in both ears, she has worn hearing aids since age 3. She is considered a technology expert because of her experience with so many different hearing aids and assistive listening devices throughout the years.She received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders and Master of Arts degree in Audiology from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She was awarded her doctorate in Audiology from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry: School of Audiology. While in undergraduate and graduate school, she worked at the Central School for the Deaf as a residential counselor. Dr. Frymark spent the first five years of her audiology career with Florida Hospital in central Florida.

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