May, 2021 - By SMI
According to a recent systematic review of published studies on the relationship between COVID-19 and hearing problems, the disease may cause a variety of audio-vestibular symptoms.
In 2020, audiologists Kevin Munro and Ibrahim Almufarrij from the University of Manchester performed the first rapid systematic analysis to understand the connection between COVID-19 and hearing problems. The rapid analysis based on the first few months of study and case studies that appeared during the pandemic's early stages. December 2018, audiologists Kevin Munro and Ibrahim Almufarrij from the University of Manchester performed the very first quick systematic analysis into the connection between COVID-19 and hearing loss.
The rapid analysis based on the first few months of study and case studies that appeared during the pandemic's early stages. Now, a year later, the researchers also revised their systematic analysis, revealing several cases of hearing difficulties. There are 28 reported cases and 28 cross-sectional studies included in the recent systematic review. As per a pooled data study, 7.6% of COVID-19 cases have hearing loss, 7.2 percent have vertigo, and 14.8 percent have tinnitus. Munro and Almufarrij are both adamant that the data they considered in their new analysis is focused on anecdotal observations and self-reported symptoms. As a result, it's unclear whether or not this growing connection is causal.
Tinnitus, for example, is becoming more and more associated with long COVID. Patients have documented COVID-19 exacerbating pre-existing tinnitus, and some suspect the disease may be the cause of tinnitus. Tinnitus, according to Munro, can be triggered by a variety of factors, ranging from physical hearing loss due to noise or infection to psychological causes including anxiety and stress. So, while there may be plausible theories demonstrating how SARS-CoV-2 may cause hearing loss, he believes the existing evidence is not enough to prove the relation between COVID and hearing loss. A year-long research is monitoring COVID-19 patients after discharge from the hospital in the hopes of filling the information gap. Munro is the study's author, and he hopes the results will shed light on the connection between hearing loss and COVID-19.
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