A small study from audiologists at the University of Manchester shows that one in eight people who have recovered from coronavirus experience problems such as tinnitus eight weeks after recovering.
The study followed 121 coronavirus patients who were admitted to Wythenshawe Hospital. Sixteen of them (13%) reported damage to their hearing after eight weeks, including eight who reported tinnitus – a ringing or buzzing in the ears.
Some of the patients already had some problems with their hearing before becoming ill with Covid-19. However, the results of the study, published in a letter to the International Journal of Audiology, have added to fears that Covid-19 could have a long-term impact on hearing.
Research has recently found that Covid-19 can infect the ear and the mastoid bone, and other coronaviruses known to infect humans can damage nerves that carry information to and from the brain. Viruses such as measles, mumps and meningitis can also cause hearing loss.
Of course, much is still unknown about the link between Covid-19 and hearing problems, but studies like the University of Manchester one highlight the need for high-quality research into the issue.