Oct 14, 2020
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World’s first COVID-19 hearing loss reported in UK

The problem arose in a patient who had a severe course of the disease. Scientists believe the infection can damage cells in the inner ear.

Researchers at University College London described a clinical case of a patient who lost his hearing due to coronavirus. A 45-year-old man with asthma was admitted to hospital with severe COVID-19 and required mechanical ventilation. The patient received intravenous remdesivir and steroids as drug therapy.

The patient's condition improved and he was transferred from the intensive care unit to the hospital. However, a week later, he complained of tinnitus - ringing in the ears. A week later, the man became deaf in his left ear. Further research revealed sensorineural hearing loss caused by inflammation of the inner ear. With the help of steroids, the hearing was partially restored.

The authors of the article emphasized that none of the drugs that the patient received could cause hearing loss. In addition, the patient had no previous hearing problems. It is therefore clear that the condition was caused by the coronavirus. It is not yet known exactly what mechanism triggered the infection, but there is a possibility that SARS-Cov-2 can enter the internal cells and cause their death. According to another version, the body, in response to infection, begins to produce cytokines that are very toxic to the inner ear. This hypothesis is supported by the effectiveness of steroids, which reduce inflammation and reduce the production of cytokines.

This is the first reported case of coronavirus-related hearing loss in the UK, but there have been reports of similar symptoms before. So, in May, a group of scientists from Manchester published the results of a study that showed that 16 of 121 patients complained of hearing problems two months after discharge.

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