A Brief Overview of COVID-19

In late 2019, a new illness known as COVID-19 emerged, caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. It quickly spread worldwide, resulting in a pandemic that significantly affected every aspect of human life.


Millions of people have been infected globally, and many have died as a result. COVID-19 exhibits a wide range of symptoms, varying from mild to severe.


Typically, it begins with symptoms like fever, cough, and a general feeling of being unwell. However, in some cases, it progresses to severe breathing problems.


Notably, there are also other symptoms that don't directly affect breathing, making the diagnosis and treatment more challenging for healthcare professionals.

The Connection between Viruses and Hearing Loss

Hearing loss caused by viruses isn't new. Viruses like cytomegalovirus (CMV) and measles have been linked to hearing problems for a long time. Some viruses, such as mumps or influenza, can get into the inner ear, leading to a type of hearing loss called sensorineural hearing loss. This damages cells in the ear that help us hear.


Viruses might cause hearing loss by directly harming inner ear structures or by causing inflammation due to our immune system's response. Also, viral infections could block blood vessels, reducing blood flow and causing problems with hearing.

Understanding Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is a prevalent type of hearing impairment, often resulting from damage to the inner ear's hair cells or issues within the auditory nerve. Aging, exposure to loud noise, genetics, or drugs toxic to hearing can cause SNHL.


In most instances, SNHL is a permanent condition; unfortunately, our inner ear's hair cells don't regenerate once damaged. The impact varies from mild difficulty in comprehending speech amidst background noises to profound deafness.


Exploring Reported Cases of COVID-19 Related Hearing Loss

The emergence of COVID-19 has revealed more than just breathing problems linked to the virus. Some people are experiencing hearing loss, either suddenly or gradually, during or after getting sick.


It's not happening to everyone, but these cases show us how COVID-19 can affect us in different ways. Looking closely at individual stories helps us understand this strange symptom.


In Thailand, a 41-year-old man suddenly lost his ability to hear after having COVID-19 symptoms for two weeks.


In Egypt, four people also had trouble hearing after getting sick. These cases aren't just random incidents—they're part of a growing number of situations happening worldwide, showing that this hearing problem can affect anyone, no matter where they live or their background.

Auditory Statistics in COVID-19-Related Hearing Loss

Apart from individual stories, numbers also show a worrying trend. In one study by Mustafa, out of 120 patients, 15% noticed their tinnitus starting or getting worse after having COVID-19.


Another research from Manchester University found that almost one in ten people who survived COVID-19 had problems like tinnitus or hearing loss. This shows how important it is to figure out how the virus affects our ability to hear.


These statistics raise concerns about hearing issues related to COVID-19, but it's crucial to think about other things that might make some groups more likely to have these problems, like other health issues they might have. Keeping track of this and gathering more information will be really important to understand and find ways to manage these problems fully.

Research Findings on COVID-19 and Hearing Loss

When we look at what's been written about COVID-19 and its effects on hearing, it gives us some really interesting ideas. Many medical journals and papers have been sharing these findings with many people.


Several studies have shown a connection between COVID-19 and hearing problems. For instance, research from Manchester University discovered that about 15% of those who had severe COVID-19 symptoms had changes in their hearing or developed tinnitus. Another important study in the International Journal of Audiology suggested that between 7% and 15% of adults with COVID-19 experienced tinnitus or vertigo.


However, it's crucial to know that these numbers come from people reporting their symptoms, not from specific hearing tests. Still, because many people worldwide have reported these issues, this connection shouldn't be overlooked.


Scientists all over the world have been working tirelessly to understand how the SARS-CoV-2 virus affects us. In the United Kingdom, researchers were among the first to start studying how Covid might be linked to sudden hearing loss. They looked at cases where people lost their hearing after having COVID-19 and decided that there was enough proof to study this more deeply.


Other studies in Europe, Asia, and America joined in, showing how scientists from different places are working together on this.

Rehabilitation Approaches in COVID-19 Related Hearing Loss

A well-rounded approach to helping people with hearing loss after Covid-19 is crucial. It starts with detailed hearing tests that help figure out how much hearing is affected and what type of problem it is.


Depending on these test results, treatments could vary. Some might need treatments for issues like vertigo or ringing in the ears (tinnitus), while others might benefit from things like cochlear implants or hearing aids for more serious hearing loss.


Also, it's important that this hearing help is part of a bigger plan that includes support for mental health because losing your senses suddenly can be tough emotionally.


It is crucial to stay focused despite the uncertainties about how COVID-19 affects hearing. As science progresses, we'll understand this complex problem better and learn how to deal with it.


Even though hearing problems in COVID-19 patients are worrying, it's inspiring to see healthcare workers all over the world working together to tackle this new issue.


As we keep learning about how SARS-CoV-2 affects hearing, there's hope that we'll find ways not just to fix hearing but also to make life better for those who've been affected.






  1. Mustafa, M. W. M., Audiological profile of asymptomatic Covid-19 PCR-positive cases. American Journal of Otolaryngology, 42(3), 102483. (2021).


  1. Lamounier, P., Franco Gonçalves, V., & Ramos Pasculli, C.  Otologic and Audiological Findings in Patients with Mild Covid-19 Symptoms. Otology & Neurotology, 42(10), e1326-e1330. (2021).
  2. Koumpa, F. S., Forde, C. T., & Manjaly, J. G. Sudden irreversible hearing loss post COVID-19. BMJ Case Reports CP, 14(1), e240419. (2021).


  1. Viola, P., Ralli, M., Pisani, D., Malanga, D., Sculco, D., & Messina, L. Hearing loss and COVID-19: a note. American Journal of Otolaryngology, 41(3), 102473. (2020).


  1. Tomaz, A., Gurkov, R., Ribeiro, F. A., & Dantas, M. R. O. A. Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss in COVID-19: A Case Report. Frontiers in Medicine, 7, 635619. (2021).


  1. Manchester University. (2021). Hearing Changes and Tinnitus Development in Severe COVID-19 Cases: A Study Findings.
December 13, 2023 — Jinxxx

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