COVID-19, the disease that is caused by the novel coronavirus, has impacted our world in ways we could not have imagined. The illness has impacted our day to day lives, and forced many of us to adjust to a new-normal way of life.
The health implications of COVID-19 have been staggering. Millions of people around the world are infected. Hundreds of thousands have unfortunately lost the battle. Thousands more are continuing to fight the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that some of most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Fever or chills
- A cough
- Difficulty breathing or a shortness of breath
- Muscle or body aches
While these are commonly reported symptoms, the CDC also notes that it does not include all possible symptoms.
Our understanding of the novel coronavirus is still in its infancy. Recently, there have been concerns that COVID-19 can cause neurological symptoms also. Could these include hearing loss or tinnitus?
Can COVID-19 Impact Your Hearing Health
Research published in the JAMA Network investigated the potential neurological implications of the novel coronavirus. The study looked at 214 patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 in 2019. 36.4% of patients experienced neurologic symptoms.
The study also notes that the neurologic symptoms were “more common in patients with severe infection (45.5%) according to their respiratory status, which included acute cerebrovascular events, impaired consciousness, and muscle injury.” (Source)
Hearing Loss and COVID-19
There have been anecdotal reports of patients experiencing hearing loss and COVID-19. Although no clear relationship has been established yet, there could be cause for concern.
Novel coronavirus can cause peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy “refers to the conditions that result when nerves that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord from and to the rest of the body are damaged or diseased. The peripheral nerves make up an intricate network that connects the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, skin, and internal organs.” (Source)
It may be postulated that if COVID-19 can damage the nerves that carry information to (and from) your brain, it could also be linked to conditions such as auditory neuropathy.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) defines auditory neuropathy as a “hearing disorder in which the inner ear successfully detects sound, but has a problem with sending sound from the ear to the brain.”
Researchers are continuing to investigate the link between COVID-19 and hearing loss.
Have a Question? Need Help? Contact Us Today!
If you’d like to discuss this further, the hearing specialists at HearingLife (formerly Family Audiology) would be happy to help. Call us on (607) 323-4061 or click here to request an appointment online.
Our team is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our customers and staff. Together with our communities, we pledge to do everything we can to ensure you have a safe visit as we honor our mission to help people hear better. The following measures are in place to help reduce risk at our clinics: pre-screening questions, face masks and gloves, sanitizing surfaces, social distancing, and temperature checks.