By Nsunjo Erica
New research is showing that the coronavirus may actually also cause hearing loss.
According to scientists, COVID-19 patients lose their senses during an active infection, the loss of taste and smell is one of the most commonly discussed, however, loss of hearing has developed too.
A U.K. study from July surveyed 121 adults who had been hospitalized because of severe coronavirus symptoms. Thirteen percent of those patients reported hearing loss and/or tinnitus, (the perception of ringing in one’s ears, eight weeks after being discharged from the hospital for COVID-19.)
According to Kevin Munro, Ph.D., a professor of audiology at the University of Manchester, It is possible, in theory, that COVID-19 could cause problems with parts of the auditory system including the middle ear or cochlea.
Researchers caution that the exact link between covid-19 and hearing loss is not yet clear, it could be a direct result of the virus especially given that a July JAMA Otolaryngology study detected coronavirus in the inner ear.
Scientists also urge that it could be other factors that might include stress and anxiety, including the use of face masks that make communication more difficult, medications used to treat COVID-19 that could damage the ear.
There is a high possibility that hearing loss could be a complication of the medications used to treat the coronavirus. Medications such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine carry a high risk of hearing loss and tinnitus as side effects.
The novel coronavirus has turned out to impact many organ systems through the course of the disease, we’ve heard about the heart, brain, lungs, and respiratory symptoms, but a growing mystery is its impact on the nervous system.
According to scientists, the most important thing to learn is that whether it is the body, heart, lungs, Ears, or the brain, most symptoms don’t seem to come directly from the virus, but rather, the body’s overzealous immune response to fight the virus.