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Can you lose your hearing from COVID-19?

Multiple reports suggest hearing loss could be a symptom of the novel coronavirus.

A woman wears a face mask in Belfast city centre, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. Northern Ireland introducing the tightest COVID-19 restrictions in the United Kingdom on Wednesday, closing schools for two weeks and pubs and restaurants for a month.
A woman wears a face mask in Belfast city centre, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. Northern Ireland introducing the tightest COVID-19 restrictions in the United Kingdom on Wednesday, closing schools for two weeks and pubs and restaurants for a month.
AP

Multiple reports suggest hearing loss could be a symptom of the novel coronavirus, and now there’s some anecdotal evidence of it.

What’s the story?

A British man reportedly lost hearing in one ear after he caught the novel coronavirus, which led experts to warn about the potential symptoms.

  • The Sun — a British tabloid — reported that the man was sent to an otolaryngologist when he experienced the hearing loss. The man reportedly lost hearing after he went through treatment for COVID-19, which included putting him on a ventilator.
  • The man reportedly developed tinnitus — or ringing in the ear.

What do experts say?

Experts said there is evidence of hearing loss related to COVID-19, according to the New York Post. Researchers recently wrote about it in a report for BMJ, a peer-reviewed medical journal previously called the British Medical Journal.

  • “Despite the considerable literature on COVID-19 and the various symptoms associated with the virus, there is a lack of discussion on the relationship between COVID-19 and hearing.”
  • “Hearing loss and tinnitus are symptoms that have been seen in patients with both COVID-19 and influenza virus, but have not been highlighted.”
  • “Given the widespread presence of the virus in the population and the significant morbidity of hearing loss, it is important to investigate this further. This is especially true given the need to promptly identify and treat the hearing loss and the current difficulty in accessing medical services.”