Can COVID-19 affect your ears?

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions in society. The condition, known as "long COVID," has been associated with tinnitus and hearing loss.

Although the connection between ringing in the ears and COVID is not completely clear, some COVID patients have experienced aggravated tinnitus symptoms. Research indicates that COVID might serve as a potential catalyst for this condition.

Here's what you should know about tinnitus, hearing loss, and COVID.

COVID and blocked ears

Ear pain and pressure in the ear are not officially recognized as COVID-19 symptoms.

However, there is a possibility that these symptoms could be related to the virus, although they are less common than fever, cough, and loss of smell. COVID-19 shares similarities with the flu, which can cause ear pressure due to conditions like otitis media.

Inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, pharynx, and Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the nasopharynx, could also lead to ear problems as a result of COVID-19.

COVID and earache (sore ear)

Earache can be caused by various factors like inflammation, infections, injuries, and jaw or teeth issues. It can result in throbbing or dull pain, accompanied by symptoms like dizziness and hearing difficulties.

Analgesics can usually provide relief. Exploring effective remedies becomes crucial to find relief from the bothersome symptoms. If the pain persists or is accompanied by fever, dizziness, or fluid leakage, a doctor visit is recommended.

With the Omicron variant, ear discomfort has been reported, likely due to upper respiratory tract inflammation. Congestion and blocked eustachian tubes can cause ear discomfort and temporary hearing issues.

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COVID and ear infection

Although otitis is not specifically listed among the recognised symptoms of COVID-19, there are similarities in the symptoms experienced in both Coronavirus infection and otitis, such as fever and headache.

Although it is improbable for COVID-19 to directly result in an ear infection like otitis, it is recommended to seek medical advice for prompt treatment of ear inflammation if severe symptoms persist without improvement.

COVID and tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

Tinnitus, a condition characterized by a ringing sensation in the ears, is among the symptoms associated with COVID.

The causes of tinnitus vary, but the primary causes are significant ear infections, exposure to loud noises, and trauma.

A study conducted by Anglia Ruskin University, along with the American and British Tinnitus Associations, explored the relationship between COVID-19 and tinnitus.

Out of the 3,103 participants from 48 countries, 40% reported that their COVID-related ear ringing worsened. Interestingly, some individuals without pre-existing tinnitus developed the condition after contracting COVID-19.

The study also highlighted that lockdown measures and social distancing may have contributed to the intensification of tinnitus symptoms, possibly due to reduced exposure to regular noise and limited access to healthcare.

Further research is needed to better understand the link between COVID-19 and ear problems, particularly in the context of long COVID.

How long does tinnitus last after COVID?

The duration of tinnitus resulting from COVID is unpredictable. Some COVID patients have reported tinnitus lasting a few days, while others experience it for weeks or even months. It's crucial to note that the majority of individuals observe an improvement, albeit gradual, in their condition.

COVID and hearing loss

While sudden hearing loss is not commonly associated with COVID-19, a notable percentage of patients experience hearing problems in the days and weeks following their initial symptoms. According to a February 2021 review, 14.8% of individuals reported tinnitus, 7.6% experienced hearing loss, and 7.2% had vertigo as auditory complications. However, the severity and resolution of these issues were not discussed in the review. It is worth noting that certain viruses can cause balance problems and temporary hearing loss. Insufficient research has been conducted to fully understand the relationship between COVID-19 and these auditory complications.

Additionally, certain antiviral drugs used in COVID-19 treatments have been associated with hearing-related side effects, such as tinnitus and hearing loss. Medications like quinine, chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine carry a higher risk for these complications.

Regrettably, as these drugs are predominantly prescribed to COVID patients who face a relatively high risk of death, there are no viable alternatives to their usage.

Overall, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between COVID-19, its treatments, and their impact on hearing.

Are tinnitus and hearing loss treatable?

Treatment options for tinnitus and hearing loss associated with COVID-19 remain uncertain, and more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of the virus.

Treating hearing loss itself is seldom possible due to the inability to regenerate delicate cells. The only option is to alleviate symptoms, which can be achieved through the utilization of cutting-edge hearing aids.

These devices are discreet, user-friendly, and affordable, catering to various degrees of hearing loss. Some advanced hearing aids even include features to mask tinnitus sounds using in-ear sound therapy.

It is crucial to promptly seek treatment for any hearing loss or tinnitus to prevent its deterioration. Even minor hearing issues can be rectified with the aid of advanced hearing technology.

Solutions for COVID-related hearing issues

The connection between COVID and symptoms like ear ringing and hearing loss remains unclear, with limited research available. However, if you're experiencing hearing difficulties, it's essential to seek professional assistance.

EarPros offers expert support and a wide range of hearing aids to enhance your listening experience. Contact us today for a free consultation with a licensed hearing professional and find the perfect solution for your specific needs.

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