COVID-19 can make patients permanently deaf, scientists have warned following the first reported case in the United Kingdom.
Details have emerged of a 45-year-old man who experienced sudden hearing loss in one ear while being treated in hospital for Covid-19.
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The problem first presented as tinnitus, the perception of noise or ringing in the ears, but swiftly deteriorated to full hearing loss.
This was a week after his condition had improved sufficiently for him to leave intensive care, having spent 30 days on a ventilator.
Examination of his ear canals revealed that he had no blockages or any inflammation.
But an audiological evaluation showed that he had substantially lost his hearing in the left ear.
He was treated with steroid tablets and injections which slightly improved his condition. “This is the first reported case of sensorineural hearing loss following Covid-19 infection in the UK,” researchers wrote in the The BMJ.