Strong link seen between auditory problems and Covid-19

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on March 24, 2021

A new study revealed a strong association between hearing loss and other auditory issues with the novel coronavirus infection.

The study, published in the International Journal of Audiology, was led by researchers at the University of Manchester and NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

Professor Kevin Munro and Ph.D. researcher Ibrahim Almufarrij analyzed 56 studies that identified a link between Covid-19 and auditory and vestibular issues.

They found that the prevalence of hearing loss was 7.6 per cent, tinnitus was 14.8 per cent, and vertigo was 7.2 per cent.

However, the team described the quality of the studies as fair. Their data primarily used self-reported questionnaires or medical records to obtain Covid-19-related symptoms, rather than the more scientifically reliable hearing tests.

Kevin Munro, Professor of Audiology at The University of Manchester and Manchester BRC Hearing Health Lead said: "There is an urgent need for a carefully conducted clinical and diagnostic study to understand the long-term effects of Covid-19 on the auditory system."

"It is also 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," Munro added.

Another study led by Professor Munro indicated that over 13 per cent of patients who were discharged from a hospital reported a change in their hearing.

Professor Munro added, "Over the last few months I have received numerous emails from people who reported a change in their hearing, or tinnitus after having Covid-19."

Published on March 24, 2021

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