What more and more people are finding out is that even after they’ve had and fought off the coronavirus, there are still some lingering symptoms. Weakened respiratory system, a diminished sense of smell, etc. But now studies are showing that the coronavirus may have long-term impacts on the two systems localized in our ears: the auditory system (hearing) and the vestibular system (balance).
Although there is still a need for more research on the link between the coronavirus and dizziness, there’s an early indication of causality.
COVID & Hearing/Balance Problems
“We already know that viruses such as measles, mumps, and meningitis can cause hearing loss and coronaviruses can damage the nerves that carry information to and from the brain. It is possible, in theory, that COVID-19 could cause problems with parts of the auditory system including the middle ear or cochlea.”
– Kevin Munro, professor of audiology at the University of Manchester
121 adults admitted for coronavirus at Wythenshawe Hospital, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, took part in a survey. The results were that more than one in 10 of them reported a deterioration in their hearing eight weeks after discharge.
Furthermore, this same hypothesis has been the basis for 56 different studies researching the impact of COVID-19 on the inner workings of the ear.
Researchers found 56 studies that identified an association between COVID-19 and auditory and vestibular problems. They pooled data from 24 of the studies to estimate that the prevalence of hearing loss was 7.6 percent, tinnitus was 14.8 percent, and vertigo was 7.2 percent.
These early indications that coronavirus may cause long-term deafness, tinnitus, and vertigo are sparking scientists to say that there is an urgent need to investigate the acute and temporary effects of COVID-19 on hearing and the audiovestibular system.
In other words, those who’ve had COVID and are now getting bouts of vertigo or dizziness may have an answer to what’s causing it.
What Does This Mean?
Viruses that work their way into our inner or middle ear can cause damage and result in hearing or balance problems. We know this to be true of respiratory viruses that lead to Vestibular Neuritis or Labyrinthitis.
And so while we cannot draw the line directly between COVID-19 and vertigo, symptoms don’t lie.
If you’re feeling residual vertigo, dizziness, or just feeling off (whether you had COVID or not), it’s worthwhile getting yourself checked out by a Vestibular Audiologist – doctors who specialize in balance.
Our Vestibular Lab at the Dizzy & Vertigo Institute is equipped to find abnormalities and dysfunctions in your vestibular system which are causing dizziness, vertigo, and other balance problems.
There’s always a source of dizziness and Vestibular Audiologists (such as ourselves) are the most well-positioned with our equipment to find what’s going wrong and fix it.
Please, reach out to our care team at (310) 954-2207 or fill out our contact form here.
Dizzy patients like yourself don’t have to live their life in fear of their next attack. There are solutions and we’re here to provide them!