Loss of smell and taste, chronic exhaustion, heart and brain damage: A new episode of the coronavirus is now known.
It remains to be seen whether he will ever be able to hear again: In the specialist journal “British Medical Journal”, doctors report on a man who lost his hearing in the course of his illness with the novel Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus.
After the 45-year-old suffered from Covid-19 symptoms for ten days, he was admitted to the hospital, where he was immediately admitted to the intensive care unit and was intubated for 30 days. At the same time he received remdesivir, steroids and numerous other drugs.
In addition, his blood plasma had to be replaced. Treatment was made more difficult by the sudden occurrence of pulmonary embolism, pulmonary hypertension (pulmonary hypertension), anemia and pneumonia caused by ventilation.
Not an isolated case
The treatment worked and the patient could soon be transferred to a normal ward. But then he noticed left-sided tinnitus, then sudden hearing loss. The doctors checked his ear – but they could not find any blockages or inflammation.
He was treated with steroid pills and injections, after which his hearing partially recovered, but not completely, the medics said.
“This is the first reported case of sensorineural hearing loss after Covid-19 infection in the UK,” the researchers note. However, it is not the first in the world, as Kevin J. Munro from the Manchester Center for Audiology and Deafness reported in July 2020 in the “International Journal of Audiology”. Accordingly, hearing impairment occurs in 13.2 percent of former Covid 19 patients.
According to the study, which included the data from 138 ex-corona patients between 44 and 82 years of age, men in particular have to struggle with tinnitus or hearing loss after their supposed recovery.
Does not depend on the severity of the course
The case of the American Meredith Harrell shows, among other things, that women are not immune to these long-term consequences and that even symptom-free Covid-19 courses can lead to it. The Sars-CoV-2 infection was only detected in her because the doctors were looking for the cause of the sudden ringing in the ear.
“It was like flicking a switch,” CNN.com quoted Harrell, whose hearing has not yet been restored. “I hope people finally understand that Corona is not a joke.”
Worse than other viruses
Even in their case, doctors cannot say with certainty that the virus is affecting the inner ear because there is a risk of tissue damage when performing a biopsy of the inner ear. But studies of people who have died as a result of a Covid 19 infection speak for themselves.
The virus could be detected in two of the three corpses in the middle ear and the mastoid bones in the skull, which is located directly behind the ear. The study was published in the journal “Jama Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery”.
Matthew Stewart of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, who performed the autopsy, told CNN that viruses like measles, mumps, and meningitis are known to cause sudden hearing loss. “But I think Sars-CoV-2 has the potential to be worse.” We all know that it triggers blood clots in other areas of the body and is obviously no exception to the “extremely small blood vessels” in the inner ear.
Kevin Munro agrees: “The capillaries in the inner ear are the smallest in the human body, so it doesn’t take much to block them.”