Different people have been affected in various ways by COVID-19, which has ongoing effects despite its slowing spread. As the illness has lingered, doctors and researchers have identified additional threats that reach beyond the typical scope of symptoms and effects, meaning that Coronavirus poses more of a risk than initially indicated. Investigations into hearing loss issues reported by patients with the illness have led audiologists to discover that the virus could potentially be a direct contributor to the condition.

Indirect Links Between COVID and Hearing Loss

A rise in hearing loss has become evident during the pandemic. Individuals with hearing loss tend to struggle with conversations using telephones, video conferencing, and other electronic communication forms, the use of which has increased during quarantines and lockdowns. The reliance individuals with unidentified or untreated hearing loss place on non-verbal communication (facial expressions and lip-reading) is no longer present because of face masks, making it extremely difficult to understand – not only in terms of the masking of visual cues but also because of a reduction of sound clarity.

The Use of Ototoxic Medications to Treat COVID

Among the factors indirectly contributing to a rise in hearing loss in patients diagnosed with COVID might relate to the use of ototoxic medications, known to damage the auditory system, in treating symptoms. A list of ototoxic medicines compiled by the University of Michigan, includes:

  • Aspirin in doses between 8 and 12 pills daily
  • Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Antibiotics like aminoglycosides (i.e., Gentamicin, Streptomycin, and Neomycin)
  • Loop diuretics like Furosemide (Lasix) and Bumetanide for treating high blood pressure and heart failure
  • Medication used to treat cancer such as Cyclophosphamide, Cisplatin, and Bleomycin.

Though ototoxic medications are generally harmless when taken alone, they tend to create a toxic effect when two or more are taken simultaneously, often producing tinnitus, vertigo, and other symptoms commonly connected to hearing loss.

The Tinnitus and COVID-19 Connection

Whether caused by ototoxic medications or the Coronavirus, many patients diagnosed with COVID-19 complain about experiencing tinnitus symptoms. The continuous ringing, buzzing, or humming sound in their ears, which is similar to the phantom-limb symptoms experienced by amputees, is among the early hearing loss indicators. Patients note that tinnitus is not only present through the duration of their COVID illness, but continues after other symptoms have gone away. This has led audiologists and researchers to investigate a possible connection between Coronavirus and hearing loss.

Is There a Direct Connection Between COVID-19 and Hearing Loss?

In addition to the indirect contributions of SARS-COV-2 (Coronavirus or COVID-19), doctors have found the virus inside the middle ear of patients complaining of tinnitus and other hearing loss conditions. The development of hearing loss due to infections in the middle ear is common with some viruses, which led researchers to consider that COVID-19 may directly connect to hearing loss. However, audiologists and researchers are cautious about drawing a definitive conclusion because it is still early in the investigative process, and not enough evidence has been established.

Audicles Hearing Services Has Solutions for Your Hearing Loss

Ignoring or leaving hearing loss untreated is risky because the damage often continues to worsen. If you have become aware of a hearing loss, you should seek help. 

The Audicles Hearing Services team has the expertise and the equipment to properly evaluate your hearing loss and provide the best solutions to get you back to enjoying your active and rewarding lifestyle. To start your journey toward better hearing, schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment by calling 210-820-0525 or click here to schedule a Virtual Audicles appointment.

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Dr. Tracy Board Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Tracy Board Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Board began her career in audiology after completing her undergraduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin and the doctoral program at The University of Texas at Dallas. She has been fortunate to work in a plethora of healthcare and educational settings. As a result, she has perfected the art of effective adult and pediatric treatment. When she is not at the clinic, Dr. Board works directly with her state and national organizations to not only improve the quality of audiological healthcare in Texas, but also to advocate for her patients.
What Was Betty's First Experience at Audicles Like ...
“My first sign of hearing loss was gradually realizing that I couldn’t hear and was missing too much. My first impressions of Audicles were that I would recommend them, they had a good reputation and local. I knew that I needed help and found them very easy to work with, very thorough and very likable. Hearing aids have impacted my life a great deal, I was missing too much of what was going on. My advice to anybody considering visiting Audicles would be that they’re an excellent choice and I think they would be very happy with them.”
Betty P.
What Would Brian Rate Audicles Out of 10? ...
“I first realized I had signs of hearing loss in the early 90’s, my biggest fear at the time was having to wear hearing aids and feeling old and deaf. I went to visit Audicles and if I had to rate my first impressions on a scale of 1 to 10 I would give them a 12+. From day one of having my hearing aids, everything changed, when I take them off the world goes to only 50% hearing, so they really have positively impacted my life. I always recommend Audicles so if you are considering visiting, I would highly recommend and refer Audicles and Tracey Board.”
Brian O.
Dr. Watson’s passion to help kids hear better was very heartwarming ...
“My first signs of hearing loss started in 3rd grade, I had problems with my teacher, which in turn led to having a hearing test, which found high frequency hearing loss in my left ear. Audicles made me feel very comfortable right from the start and Dr. Watson’s passion to help kids hear better was very heartwarming, enough to keep me as a patient for 30+ years. My hearing aids have become a true blessing as I have gotten older, if you are considering visiting Audicles, don’t wait! They truly go above and beyond to help you.”
Donald Kotzer
What Happened at 4 Year Old Hunter's First Appointment ...
“Hunter was just four years old when we found out he had a profound hearing loss in both ears and as his parents we were so worried Hunter would have to live with this disability and would always be considered different. As soon as his hearing aids were turned on, he ran to the window and said “trucks.” He could hear the traffic for the first time. When we got home to his Memi’s house, he could hear the peacocks and he was so excited … it was priceless. The impact hearing aids have had on Hunter’s life is incredible, Hunter says “I am able to live a normal life and communicate easily with my family and friends. I love to hunt and fish, which are two things I can do better when I can hear.” For anybody considering visiting Audicles, we would not consider taking Hunter anywhere else, they are the most caring people you will ever meet. We love Dr. Board and all of the staff, they are extremely helpful and welcoming at all times.”
Hunter Brown
Isaac First Visited Audicles as a Little Kid ...
“My first signs of hearing loss came when I was a little kid, I was really happy when I visited Audicles for my first appointment. Hearing Aids have had a really good impact on my life, I can hear everything! I would definitely encourage anybody considering visiting Audicles to go.”
Isaac Leos
She Always Made Me Feel Like I Belonged ...
“I was only two when signs of hearing loss were detected so I don’t remember my first appointment, but one of my earliest memories was visiting Dr. Jane with my grandpa. She always made me feel like I belonged and always greeted me with a smile and a hug. My first impressions of Audicles were awesome, I remember sitting in the hearing booth thinking I was in a spaceship! The impact hearing aids have had on my life is indescribable, I would not be where I am without the help of Audicles, Dr. Jane went above and beyond to help me. I would say to anybody considering visiting Audicles, what are you waiting for?”
Jaret Gunn
There is Never a Better Time to Do It Than The Present ...
“I noticed the first signs of hearing loss at work, as I work with children in my teaching job, I found it harder and harder to hear them. My family were also giving me a hard time about the TV volume. I was so ready to increase my quality of life and not miss anything so I had no fears about visiting Audicles for my first appointment. I was made to feel right at home! They were professional, kind, patient and explained everything. Hearing aids have impacted my life in a big way, I can hear my grandchildren. I have been able to use mics and the technology offered for a variety of purposes was all for the good. If you are considering visiting Audicles, just do it! There is never a better time than the present. What do you have to lose?”
Kim M.
My First Signs of Hearing Loss Were ...
“I was really pleased with my first visit to Audicles, first impressions were very good, everyone is very nice and helpful. Wearing hearing aids has positively impacted my life as I can hear things now that I did not realize I was missing. If you are considering visiting Audicles I would say to go, you can’t find a better service.”
Loretta Anton