Covid ear: Here’s how the virus can affect your hearing

Covid-19 is marked by common symptoms like cough, cold, fever, sore throat and fatigue among others. However, there are also several non-respiratory symptoms like headache, loss of smell and taste, back pain and muscle ache. And now, several patients are experiencing hearing loss or ringing in the ears, which experts have termed as ‘Covid ear’.

Coronavirus attacks lungs. But, apart from affecting the respiratory system, it also affects the ear, nose and throat. Loss of smell and taste are among the peculiar symptoms of Covid-19. In addition, multiple patients also reported hearing loss along with ringing sounds in the ear, known as tinnitus. This is known as Covid ear,” Dr Santosh Jha, Pulmonologist and Critical Care Specialist, Porvoo Transition Care, said.

Explaining Covid ear, Dr Jha said, “As per researchers, the inner tissue of the human ear contains proteins that are susceptible to attack by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Thus, our ear may also show signs in the form of loss of balance or tinnitus.”


Further, the experts listed a few symptoms that indicate you might be experiencing Covid ear.

*Loss of hearing
*Loss of balance
*Ear pain

Drink enough water to keep symptoms at bay. (Source: Pexels)

According to him, these symptoms are common “due to body-wide inflammation and common involvement of ENT in Covid-19 patients”.

How long can it last?

The persistence of Covid ear depends on the severity of symptoms. “Mild symptoms can recover over a short period of time (7-14 days). Severe imbalance or hearing loss can take a longer time to recover,” Dr Jha elucidated.

He, further, asked patients to consult an ENT specialist in case of severe symptoms.

Here’s what you can do

If you are experiencing Covid ear, here’s what you can do, as suggested by the expert.

*Treat fever with over-the-counter medicines (antipyretics).
*Stay hydrated.
*Eat well and get plenty of rest.
*Soothe your cough and sore throat with honey or over-the-counter cough medicines.
*Get medical help if symptoms increase.

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