Researchers studied the activity of hair cells in the ear and the electrical activity in the brain system starting from the ear for the brain to see.
CDC image of the coronavirus. Image: CDC / Unsplash
The novel corona-virus spreads through respiratory droplets and enters the body through mucosal lines, present in the oral and nasal cavities of a person. The virus affects both the sense of smell and taste, often in the early stages of the disease. Earlier this year, there have been few clinical reports suggesting hearing loss or ear damage as a result of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
In April, a female patient with COVID-19 she was reported to have lost her hearing after becoming infected. This was the first ever case of associated hearing loss COVID-19 . Researchers had speculated that the virus damages brain gas as well as the temporal lobe (the area of the brain that controls hearing). Other causes such as damage to cochlear hair cells (good hair that helps to see sound) have been suggested.
Now, new research conducted by scientists at Tel Aviv University, Israel, says the novel corona-virus it does not cause permanent hearing loss. The findings of the study are published in the journal Geology and Neurology.
Permanent or temporary damage
In a press release by Tel Aviv University, the authors of the study said that temporary clogging of the middle ear often occurs in the common cold. The new research was done to find out if there is a link between the hearing loss COVID-19 is a permanent damage to the auditory system or temporary ear clogging.
About eight asymptomatic COVID-19 patients were included in the study along with eight healthy volunteers as controls. None of the volunteers had a history of hearing problems and all had a normal hearing aid (test for hearing loss).
The researchers studied the activity of hair cells in the ear and the electrical activity in the brain system starting from the ear for the brain to see.
No impact on the monitoring system
None of the participants showed any damage to the monitoring system. The authors of the study suggest that any hearing loss may be temporary corona-virus patients and may occur as a result of fluid in the middle ear.
A case study conducted in the UK reported sudden permanent hearing loss in a 45-year-old child corona-virus patient. However, the researchers were unsure whether it was caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection itself or inflammation caused by the disease.
For the recent study, the researchers had begun recruiting volunteers in April, during the first wave of the pandemic in Israel. To better understand impacts COVID-19 in terms of hearing ability, scientists at Tel Aviv University now plan to conduct a larger study with more than a hundred volunteers including severe illness corona-virus patients and those on ventilators.
For more information, read our article on COVID-19.
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Keywords: COVID-19 , corona-virus , hearing loss, ear damage, closed ears, COVID-19 symptoms, common cold