A 45-year-old COVID-19 patient from the UK suddenly lost his sense of hearing. Doctors said that the man had asthma but otherwise fit and well before being diagnosed with sudden onset sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), Metro reports. SSNHL or sudden deafness is an unexplained rapid loss of hearing either all at once or within 72 hours.
So far, only five people were reported to have suffered the same COVID-19 complication of hearing loss in the world, and this anonymous man is the first in the United Kingdom. According to his doctors, the patient has only partially recovered some of his hearing.
Experts cautioned that hearing loss among patients in the intensive care unit might easily be missed and so they urged medics to be aware of the symptoms of the complication. Awareness about it could help doctors give an early remedy or treatment to prevent hearing loss from becoming a permanent condition.
According to researchers at Manchester University, one in eight coronavirus patients may observe some changes in their hearing after recovering.
COVID-19 Patient Suddenly Suffered Hearing Loss
MailOnline reported that the British man had been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms already for ten days before he was admitted to a hospital and taken into the intensive care unit because he needed help in breathing for 30 days.
The man suffered many complications due to COVID-19, such as high blood pressure, blood clot, anemia, and ventilator-associated pneumonia.
He was given remdesivir, the first approved medicine for NHS patients in the United Kingdom, after which he started feeling better. Then a week later, he was taken off his breathing tube and the intensive care unit. However, he noticed a continuous ringing in his left ear called tinnitus. Then he suffered a sudden onset of hearing loss.
When doctors examined him a week later, they found no blockages or inflammation, but his hearing test showed that the severely lost his sense of hearing in his left ear.
The man was given oral steroid prednisolone for seven days as treatment which partially improved his hearing. Additionally, he was also injected with the steroid on his left ear. But there was o improvement after that.
Sudden Hearing Loss Adds to the List of COVID-19 Complications
With the growing number of patients reporting hearing loss due to COVID-19, this complication now adds to the deadly disease's long-term complications, along with heart, lungs, and liver damage.
According to a report by BMJ, around five to 160 cases per 100,000 are reported to have suffered hearing loss although its cause is not yet clear, but it can follow an infection including flu, rheumatoid arthritis, herpes, and HIV.
"Despite the low numbers of studies, it is significant to consider the possibility of a relationship between Covid-19 and SSNHL," the researchers said.
They added that it is essential to study hearing loss complications in COVID-19 given the increasing numbers of cases in the UK. Identifying and treating those patients who suffered the complication should be given importance to provide them access to medical services.
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