We know that COVID-19 can severely affect our lungs and respiratory system. But what about our hearing?

Specialists at University College London, UK, have suggested that the virus can cause sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) – where a person rapidly loses their hearing, often in one ear.

So what’s behind their prognosis?

The Patient Who Had Sudden Hearing Loss

In a report published in the British Medical Journal, the doctors highlight the case of a 45-year-old man who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and then admitted to an intensive care unit.

His condition was serious, and he was kept in the hospital for 30 days before finally being allowed to return home.

However, after just one week, he noticed an acute ringing sensation in his left ear, and soon after, he lost all hearing in it, reports the Guardian.

The man didn’t have a hearing loss before he was diagnosed with COVID-19. This led his doctors to believe that the virus caused his issue.

While this is one of the first published studies to provide a play-by-play account of SSHL affecting someone with COVID-19, other anecdotal examples have also emerged.

Earlier in October, CNN reported the case of a woman in the US who had a comparable experience.

What Are The Symptoms Of SSHL?

Usually, a hearing loss is hard to spot without a comprehensive assessment, as it takes place very gradually, sometimes over decades.

But SSHL is different. In just a matter of days – or in some cases, hours – someone with the condition can lose a large amount of their hearing.

It’s not uncommon to witness this type of hearing loss when you wake up in the morning.

But others need to use their hearing before they notice, by making a phone call or listening to music, for example.

Irrespective of when you recognize SSHL, you must seek expert assistance right away.

SSHL is an extremely serious condition if left untreated. But with rapid intervention, it’s possible that you can recover either part or all of your hearing.

Should I Be Worried?

So far, the number of people who have experienced SSHL following a COVID-19 diagnosis is very small. It, therefore, doesn’t look like an extremely widespread issue.

In addition, other viruses, such as measles, mumps, and meningitis, are also known to sometimes cause SSHL – demonstrating that it’s not unique to COVID-19.

Nonetheless, there has been a rise in people reporting less extreme hearing problems following a COVID-19 diagnosis, including tinnitus.

Manchester University, also in the UK, found that over ten percent of those who had contracted COVID-19 later witnessed some form of hearing loss.

Therefore, if you’ve successfully recovered from the virus, it remains essential that you book a comprehensive hearing assessment, so I can examine your ears and hearing.

Unlike other illnesses, once your hearing is damaged, it needs to be constantly managed, and I can accurately diagnose and treat your individual condition.

If you have any concerns – whether they’re related to a COVID-19 hearing loss or not – please don’t hesitate to call me at 888-327-2582. You can also write to me at manny@hearwithmanny.com.

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