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The Person Developed Permanent Hearing Loss After Contracting Coronavirus

Discussion in 'Otolaryngology' started by Mahmoud Abudeif, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. Mahmoud Abudeif

    Mahmoud Abudeif Golden Member

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    The first reported case of a UK patient with sudden hearing loss after contracting Covid-19 was reported in BMJ case reports. The 45-year-old man now has permanent hearing loss after suspected damage to the auditory nerve or middle ear, or possibly both.

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    Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHNL) is characterized by rapid hearing loss of at least 30 dB within a few days. Viruses can cause SSHNL by triggering an immune response that either directly or indirectly damages the delicate structures inside. Influenza and HSV-1 (among others) are well documented to cause SSHNL, but there have been few cases of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus behind Covid-19) causing hearing loss, none of which have occurred in the UK .

    In this case report, the patient was admitted to a London hospital on day 10 of the Covid-19 symptoms. Due to the virus and pre-existing asthma, the man had difficulty breathing and was admitted to the intensive care unit. After 30 days of treatment, his symptoms improved and he was transferred from the intensive care unit, but it wasn’t long before a new problem appeared.

    A week after leaving the intensive care unit, the man complained of ringing in his left ear and soon had hearing loss in his ear. Although he has no pre-existing hearing impairment, his left ear now has significant hearing loss.

    Doctors tested the patient for both HIV and influenza, but it came back negative – so it is likely that the causative agent was SARS-CoV-2 infection. Oral corticosteroids, previously shown to be highly effective in fighting Covid-19, were given and partially improved his hearing. Doctors state that measures should be taken now to check for hearing loss early in Covid-19 cases and to carry out treatment in a timely manner to prevent hearing loss.

    This is not the first case of sudden hearing loss attributed to Covid-19. A 60-year-old man who suffered from severe Covid-19 pneumonia in June 2020, lost all hearing in his right ear and had significant hearing loss in his left ear. He now lives with a cochlear implant.

    Covid-19 has been linked to an increasing number of neurological changes and disorders, from confusion and fatigue to stroke and Parkinson’s. These disruptions are evidence of the far-reaching effects of Covid-19 infection and the need to further study its effects on the body.

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