For a week, Harrell’s illness remained a mystery, until she decided to get tested for Covid-19. It is noteworthy that the result was positive, although she did not feel the well-known symptoms of the disease, such as a high temperature, cough and a loss of smell.
An ear, nose and throat specialist told Harrell that the virus was most likely the cause of her hearing loss in one of her ears.It is known that viruses that cause some diseases such as measles and meningitis sometimes cause sudden hearing loss, and there is increasing evidence that the emerging corona virus should be added to the list.
Dr. Matthew Stewart, an assistant professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins University, told CNN, “We hear more and more about people with hearing loss as part of a Covid infection,” although the main outlet for the virus to reach the lungs is the nose, It is also possible by mouth and eyes, according to some studies.
There are no statistics on how common it is for people who have contracted COVID-19 to develop hearing loss, but some small studies suggest a possible link.
For example, a British study published in the International Journal of Audiology and included 138 patients with Covid-19, 13 percent of whom had a ringing in the ear two months after they were discharged from the hospital.
Doctors cannot say for sure that the virus is attacking the inner ear, due to the risk of such an examination.
But Stewart and his colleagues were able to perform such operations on the bodies of three people who died after infection with the Covid-19 virus, and the remarkable result is that they found the virus in two of them, specifically in the middle ear and the mastoid bone in the skull, which is located directly behind the ear. Their study was published in the Gamma Journal of Otolaryngology.
Doctors do not know why some Covid-19 patients have hearing problems, but it is believed that the virus causes clots in the blood vessels of the ear, which in turn affect the sense of hearing.
Dr. Stuart says that treatment for this condition is through oral administration of high doses of steroids.
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