Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss or Tinnitus?

COVID-19, the disease that is caused by the novel coronavirus, has impacted our world in ways we could not have imagined. The illness has impacted our day to day lives, and forced many of us to adjust to a new-normal way of life.

The health implications of COVID-19 have been staggering. Millions of people around the world are infected. Hundreds of thousands have unfortunately lost the battle. Thousands more are continuing to fight the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that some of most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever or chills
  • A cough
  • Difficulty breathing or a shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache

While these are commonly reported symptoms, the CDC also notes that it does not include all possible symptoms.

Our understanding of the novel coronavirus is still in its infancy. Recently, there have been concerns that COVID-19 can cause neurological symptoms also. Could these include hearing loss or tinnitus?

Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss or Tinnitus?

Research published in the JAMA Network investigated the potential neurological implications of the novel coronavirus. The study looked at 214 patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 in 2019. 36.4% of patients experienced neurologic symptoms.

The study also notes that the neurologic symptoms were “more common in patients with severe infection (45.5%) according to their respiratory status, which included acute cerebrovascular events, impaired consciousness, and muscle injury.” (Source)

COVID-19 and Hearing Loss

There have been anecdotal reports of patients experiencing hearing loss and COVID-19. Although no clear relationship has been established yet, there is cause for concern.

Novel coronavirus can cause peripheral neuropathy. That is, it can damage the nerves that transmit information to and from your brain. It is, therefore, possible that COVID-19 could cause auditory neuropathy.

Auditory neuropathy is defined by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) as a “hearing disorder in which the inner ear successfully detects sound, but has a problem with sending sound from the ear to the brain.”

Research into the links between COVID-19 and potential hearing loss is ongoing.

COVID-19 and Tinnitus

Like with hearing loss, there is little evidence that connects COVID-19 and tinnitus. However, environmental conditions may play a role. For example, there is increasing evidence that stress can affect tinnitus. And these times certainly qualify as stressful!

Slowing the spread is the best way to minimize the impact of novel coronavirus. Social distancing and the use of face masks are currently recommended as the best way to  achieve this.

Wearing a face mask with a hearing aid can be challenging. We’ve put together some useful tips to make it easier. Click here to read further.

Safety today and every day after – We are open

As a company focused on care, our Anderson Audiology team is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our customers and staff. Together with our communities, we pledge to do everything we can to ensure you have a safe visit as we honor our mission to help people hear better. Call us on 702-997-2964 or click here to request an appointment online.

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Safety today and every day after – We are open

As a company focused on care, our Anderson Audiology team is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our customers and staff. Together with our communities, we pledge to do everything we can to ensure you have a safe visit as we honor our mission to help people hear better.