The new coronavirus could cause sudden and permanent hearing loss, said a medical group, reporting the British “first case” in the BMJ Case Reports magazine. However, it is a very rare symptom among the string of potential effects of COVID-19.
ID-19 and the various symptoms associated with the virus, there is a lack of debate about the relationship between the COVID-19 and hearing ”, these experts warn in the specialized magazine, recommending that perform tests in hospitals, even in intensive care, to apply a steroid-based treatment if necessary.
So far, only several cases have been reported in the world and the study authors report a 45-year-old man treated for coronavirus in his British hospital. The patient, who also suffers from asthma, was admitted to intensive care, under artificial respiration. The doctors gave him a treatment based on remdesivir (an antiviral), steroids, and an exchange of blood plasma.
His condition improved, but a week after he was released from the intensive care unit, suddenly became deaf in the left ear. Tests determined that his ducts were not blocked and his eardrums were intact. He was treated with corticosteroids but only partially recovered. After ruling out other possible causes, the doctors associated this hearing impairment with COVID-19, According to the magazine.
The authors of the article highlight that SARS-CoV-2, which is installed in a particular cell type found in the lungs, was recently found in similar cells in the ear. This virus also generates an inflammatory reaction and an increase in the production of cytokines (a type of protein) involved in hearing loss, according to the authors.
“The researchers conducted an exhaustive search to find the cause of sudden deafness. After not finding a clear origin of it and due to the known neurotropism which gives rise, for example, to the symptom known as anosmia (loss of smell), they raised that relationship. In addition, they suggested conducting a PCR evaluation of patients who present a diagnosis of sudden deafness and in those patients who are being hospitalized for pneumonia caused by the said virus and in its evolution refer to a sudden decrease in hearing or the appearance of tinnitus, an evaluation by an otolaryngologist” Said Dr. Florencia Fernandez, medical service Otolaryngology of the Italian Hospital.
However, for the specialist, “even more studies are needed to demonstrate this association and therefore, for now, it could not be considered a symptom caused by COVID-19 infection”.
In September, the Argentine Ministry of Health added to muscle pain or myalgia as a new symptom compatible with coronavirus and stressed that any person who begins with the sudden loss of taste or smell without just cause can also be confirmed as a positive case.
Therefore, a suspected case is any person, of any age, who presents two or more of the following symptoms: fever of 37.5 degrees or more; cough; sore throat; shortness of breath; sudden loss of taste or smell; headache; myalgia and diarrhea or vomiting.
Through a statement, the portfolio that leads Ginés González García clarified that, in any event, laboratory confirmation by the detection method of the viral genome of the SARS-CoV-2 through direct techniques to determine if someone is infected or not.
In addition, the clinical-epidemiological criteria for all those people who in the last 14 days have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or they are part of a conglomerate of possible infected, with at least one of them confirmed by the laboratory, and that present two or more of the symptoms of the disease.