COVID-19 and Tinnitus: Everything you need to know

An October 2021 study said SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Can also infect the inner ear, which also contains hair cells that are important for hearing and balance.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts Eye and Ear (a Harvard teaching hospital based in Boston) study used novel cellular models of the human inner ear that they developed with adult human inner ear tissue. They examined the pattern of infection in their tissue samples and verified it in a group of 10 COVID-19 patients who complained of ear-related symptoms, such as: tinnitus, dizziness, and mild to severe hearing loss.

“Damage to hair cells, which can lead to hearing loss, is typically assessed by measuring otoacoustic emissions – the sounds delivered by sensory hair cells as they respond to auditory stimuli. Said in a media statement It has been reported that all of the six COVID-19 patients who underwent this test had reduced or absent otoacoustic emissions.

However, the number of people affected by this condition is not yet known.

Hearing loss should be addressed as soon as possible (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

According to Divya Prabhat, ENT surgeon, Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai, in a span of one year, the condition has increased by 50 per cent. “This can be attributed to the Covid virus. Just as Covid patients lose their sense of taste, the virus can also affect the inner ear and cause hearing loss in severe cases,” she said.

What is Tinnitus?

tinnitus A perception of sound that occurs in the inner ear in the absence of an external source. This can be in the form of ringing, buzzing, hissing or whistling sound which can be soft or loud.

Which part of the body does it affect?

Tinnitus usually occurs when the sensory nerves or hair cells in the inner ear are damaged and send false signals to the brain. “This is then perceived as sound. It can also occur directly in the brain, which is called central tinnitus. But this phenomenon is rare,” said Dr. Prabhat.

Tinnitus can cause trouble with concentration, and can also affect sleep. “Overall, this affects body function and can lead to increased blood pressure, high blood pressure and persistent irritability,” Dr. Prabhat said.

What should you do if you experience tinnitus?

Soon diagnosis Tinnitus can be treated with better results, but if it is delayed and damages the inner ear, it can cause hearing loss and vertigo. He said that in the advanced stage, the sensory organ (cochlea) is damaged, leading to degeneration of the nerves.

Treatment may be given in the form of sedatives and tranquilizers. Also, more holistic treatments are recommended to keep the patient calm and relaxed. A vasodilator is given to improve blood flow and oxygenation to the inner ear. in extreme cases, ‘steroids’ May be recommended, mentioned ENT specialist.

Is there a connection between tinnitus and COVID-19 vaccines?

Dr Prabhat clarified, “There is no link between tinnitus caused by the Kovid vaccine.”

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