We should all be aware of the symptoms of the coronavirus, from a dry cough to a loss of smell or taste, but now scientists are suggesting there might be a link to hearing loss and COVID-19.
According to Forbes, researchers at John Hopkins School of Medicine, in Baltimore, USA, have revealed that the virus can affect the ear and the mastoid bone of the skull.
The study involved investigations into the deaths due to the coronavirus of three elderly patients, two women in their 60s and 80s, and a man in his 60s. The research showed that the woman in her 80s had the virus in her right middle ear, while the man had it in his left and right middle ears, as well as his left and right mastoids.
Lead author Dr Katilyn Frazier of the study, which has been published in JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, confirmed that the coronavirus was present in the middle ear and mastoid. While the sample size for the study was very small, the research indicated that ear issues, including hearing loss, could be a symptom of the coronavirus.
The study said: “Mastoid and middle ear colonisation with SARS-CoV-2 does not necessarily imply current or future otologic symptomatology, and known living patients with SARS-CoV-2 ear colonisation may benefit from screening for otologic manifestations.”
At present, the UK government lists only three key symptoms of the virus, namely a dry cough, high fever, and a loss of smell and/or taste.
Ear wax can also be a cause of hearing loss, so if you need ear syringing services in Gateshead, get in touch.