She realized that, other than ringing, she could not hear anything from that ear.
Harrell’s hearing loss was a mystery even about a week later, when she took the Covid-19 test and it came back positive.
Although she never felt ill, the audiologist – a doctor who specializes in audiology – explained to Harel that the virus was most likely the culprit.
Viruses like measles, mumps, and meningitis are known to sometimes cause sudden hearing loss, and there is growing evidence that the new coronavirus should be added to the list.
Dr. Matthew Stewart, associate professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said: “We are hearing more and more about people experiencing hearing loss as part of Covid infection.
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.
A team in Manchester, England asked Covid-19 patients eight weeks after they were discharged from hospital whether they had experienced any changes in hearing or ringing in their ears. Of the 138 patients in the study, published in the International Journal of Audiology, 13% said yes.
Doctors cannot say for sure that the virus is attacking the inner ear. Biopsy of the inner ear can be dangerous, as this can cause tissue damage.
Stewart and colleagues conducted operations on the bodies of 3 people who died after contracting Covid-19 infection to see if they could find the virus in the inner ears.
In two of the three bodies, they found the Coronavirus in the middle ear and the mastoid bone in the skull, located directly behind the ear. The study has been published in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.
Stewart said that while other viruses are known to cause sudden hearing loss, “I personally doubt that [فيروس كورونا المستجد] He has the potential to be worse.
He added that the reason is that the Corona virus is known to cause blood clots in other areas of the body, and it is believed that this may occur in “very small blood vessels” in the inner ear.
Kevin Monroe, an audiologist who co-authored the study in Manchester, said he believes this theory makes sense.
He added, “The capillaries in the inner ear are the smallest in the human body, so it will not take much to block them.”
Monroe and his team at the University of Manchester are planning larger studies on Covid-19 and hearing loss.
Until then, they are not sure why some Covid-19 patients develop hearing loss while others do not.
Monroe and Stewart said the treatment is high-dose oral steroids.
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