Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Is Ringing In The Ears A Sign Of Covid

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COVID Tinnitus Treatment: How to Treat Tinnitus If You Get It After COVID or the COVID Vaccine

A study in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine reported that a 37-year-old man in San Antonio, Texas, developed testicular pain and swelling three days after being diagnosed with coronavirus. The researchers wrote that “several genitourinary complications have been reported” with COVID-19, including blood clotting issues that can cause a prolonged, painful erection.

Covid Ear: Virus Implicated

Structure Of The Human Ear.

You may have heard of Covid toe, but what about Covid ear? As the pandemic wears on, an increasing number of Covid-19 patients have reported issues with hearing loss and tinnitus, a continued ringing in one or both ears. Some have even complained of sudden troubles with balance and an onset of intense dizziness. All of these symptoms suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may be able to affect the inner ear. Researchers at MIT and Massachusetts Eye and Ear have released a new report studying the mechanisms underlying these symptoms. Their findings, published in Communications Medicine, indicate that the inner ear can, in fact, be infected by SARS-CoV-2.

To do this, Minjin Jeong et al. obtained fresh, human inner ear tissue extracted as a byproduct during a special kind of ear surgery. Upon analyzing these tissue samples, they discovered that both hair cells and Schwann cells of the inner ear express the proteins required for SARS-CoV-2 infection, making them potential targets.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, generally known as ACE2, is a receptor protein that acts as a binding site for SARS-CoV-2s Spike protein. Once bound, the enzymes FURIN and transmembrane protease serine 2 cleave the virus at two distinct sites along its spike protein, allowing the virus to combine and enter the host cell.

FIGURE 1. Immunofluorescent staining of mock infected vs. SARS-CoV-2 infected human inner ear … tissue.

Representation Of Individuals With Tinnitus

There were 3,400 respondents. Of these 38 did not provide consent and 259 responses were largely incomplete. The remaining 3,103 respondents represented 48 countries, although some countries were only marginally represented. The highest number were from North America , followed by 47% from Europe . For comparative purposes, the whole sample was divided into four groups, a cohort from North America , one from the United Kingdom and Ireland , a combination of other European countries excluding the UK and a group representing a combination of other countries located in South America, Oceania, Asia, and Africa as shown in Figure 1. The age range was 18100 years with a mean of 58 years with an even gender divide and ethnic distribution where the majority were white with other ethnic groups each representing under 2% of the respondents, respectively.

Figure 1. Distribution of respondents.

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Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, Stankovic and Gehrke were working together to develop human cellular models for studying inner ear infections. It’s clear that viruses such as mumps, chickenpox, measles, and hepatitis can cause deafness by infecting the inner ear, but the molecular underpinnings of how this happens are not well understood.

When the pandemic hit, and Stankovic began seeing COVID-19 patients with hearing complaints, she and Gehrke switched gears and focused on determining whether SARS-CoV-2 could, like these other viruses, infect the inner ear.

Their first cellular models were created by transforming human skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells and differentiating these stem cells into several types of cells found in the inner ear. The inner ear cells grew in two dimensions or self-organized into three-dimensional organoids, mini models of an organ in a dish. Next, they obtained tissue samples from the inner ears of patients who underwent unrelated inner ear surgeries.

“We initially focused on determining whether human inner ear cells express the proteins that allow the virus to infect the cells,” Stankovic said. “This isn’t straightforward to do since, under normal circumstances, the human inner ear cannot be biopsied because the organ is tiny and would be irreversibly damaged in the process of tissue biopsy. We’re talking about something the size of the upper part of Lincoln’s face on a penny.”

Tinnitus And Covid 19

9 Possible Reasons You Hear Ringing in Your Ears ...

Tinnitus is an unusual and complex condition and when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the UK in early 2020, the impact on hearing and tinnitus was not uppermost in our minds. The subsequent months have seen us all adapting to a new way of living alongside this virus, which will remain for some months, possibly years to come.

However, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has been reported to, potentially, have a deleterious effect on hearing sensitivity .

In July Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust surveyed 138 individuals who had been admitted as inpatients due to COVID-19 infections. 13.2% of patients reported a change in hearing and/or tinnitus since being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Just over 5% reported developing tinnitus post infection with COVID-19 . Other authors have also reported that the anxiety associated with the impact of COVID-19 may contribute to the elevation in tinnitus awareness .

An increased stress level is known to heighten tinnitus awareness, but the impact of the COVID-19 virus is a new finding, and potentially one which has lifelong implications for thousands of people.

It is too early to know with certainty whether these reported auditory symptoms are actually induced by COVID-19 or whether this is coincidental. There will be further scientific studies which provide us with the full evidence that we would want to read, to know for certain that COVID-19 does cause tinnitus both on its own, or with, hearing loss in some people.

Refs:

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You Might Have Eye Problems

In some people, coronavirus is accompanied by eye issues, including dry, red, or itchy eyes, conjunctivitis , enlarged blood vessels, swollen eyelids, excessive watering and increased discharge. A study in JAMA Ophthalmology found that nearly one-third of hospitalized COVID-19 patients reported eye problems.

First Reported Uk Case Of Sudden Permanent Hearing Loss Linked To Covid

Condition not common, but awareness is important as prompt treatment can reverse it

Although uncommon, sudden permanent hearing loss seems to be linked to COVID-19 infection in some people, warn doctors, reporting the first UK case in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Awareness of this possible side effect is important, because a prompt course of steroid treatment can reverse this disabling condition, they emphasise.

Sudden hearing loss is frequently seen by ear, nose and throat specialists, with around 5160 cases per 100,000 people reported every year. Its not clear what the causes are, but the condition can follow a viral infection, such as flu, herpes, or cytomegalovirus.

Despite plenty of published research on sudden onset hearing loss, only a handful of other cases associated with COVID-19 have been reported, and none in the UK–until now.

The doctors describe a case of a 45 year old man with asthma who was referred to the ear nose and throat department at their hospital after suddenly experiencing hearing loss in one ear while being treated for COVID-19 infection as an inpatient.

He had been admitted to hospital with COVID-19 symptoms which had been going on for 10 days. He was transferred to intensive care as he was struggling to breathe.

He was put on a ventilator for 30 days and developed other complications as a result. He was treated with remdesivir, intravenous steroids and a blood transfusion after which he started to get better.

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The Inner Tissue Of The Human Ear Contains Proteins That Are Susceptible To Attack By The Sars

Common symptoms of coronavirus are cough, cold, sore throat, fever and fatigue but now Covid-19 patients are reporting ringing in the ears or hearing loss while fighting the virus or a few weeks after recovering. Experts have termed it as Covid Ear.Also Read – Omicron Subvariant BA.2 May Be More Detectable, No Proof Of Being Severe: WHO

Dr Santosh Jha, Pulmonologist and Critical Care Specialist, Porvoo Transition Care, told Indian Express, Coronavirus attacks lungs. But, apart from affecting the respiratory system, it also affects the ear, nose and throat. Loss of smell and taste are among the peculiar symptoms of Covid-19. In addition, multiple patients also reported hearing loss along with ringing sounds in the ear, known as tinnitus. This is known as Covid ear. Also Read – Ranji Trophy: Squad Size Capped At 30, Two Covid-19 Reserves Allowed

Dr Jha further explained the inner tissue of the human ear contains proteins that are susceptible to attack by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Thus, our ear may also show signs in the form of loss of balance or tinnitus. Also Read – Shikhar Dhawan, Sheryas Iyer Train After Recovering From COVID-19

Covid Ear: Can Coronavirus Cause Hearing Loss

Unheard Concerns: Thousands blame COVID-19 vaccine for hearing problems

1 min read.Livemint

New Covid-19 symptoms: Some Covid-19 patients are facing ‘ringing’ in the ears or hearing loss while battling the infection or weeks after it

Listen to this article

Since the pandemic began, a majority of Covid patients have faced symptoms like cold, cough, breathlessness, fever, sore throat, etc. However, recently the patients have also started facing bizarre symptoms in their ears. According to a report in Hindustan Ties, Livemint’s sister publication, some Covid-19 patients are facing “ringing” in the ears or hearing loss while battling the infection or weeks after it. Doctors have called this problem “Covid ear”, which includes symptoms like–earache, ringing, vertigo, tinnitus and also hearing loss.

According to the doctors, the ringing, buzzing, or choking sensation in the ears could be due to tinnitus which is a common problem in older adults. It is also age-related hearing loss or a problem with the circulatory system. The ringing in the ear can be persistent or can be sporadic. The problem might lead to anxiety, hypertension, insomnia, and hearing impairment.

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You might remember the recent splash of headlines about “COVID toes,” one of the most unusual symptoms of coronavirus. About 20% of people with COVID-19 report skin changes, such as a red, bumpy rash hives or breakouts resembling chickenpox. Some peoplegenerally young and previously healthyhave reported rashes on their toes, which can last up to five months.

One Sufferer Said That The Tinnitus Had Been Like A Fire Alarm In My Head All The Time

Tinnitus has been strongly linked to Covid-19 after a new study found the symptom was mentioned by a large proportion of those infected with the virus.

Researchers from the University of Manchester and Manchester Biomedical Research Centre compiled data from 24 academic papers which found an association between the virus and hearing problems.

Their study, details of which were published by Sky News on Monday, showed that nearly 8 per cent of Covid patients suffered hearing loss and 15 per cent said they had suffered from tinnitus.

The British Tinnitus Association said it had seen a big uptick in people seeking help after experiencing tinnitus following a Covid diagnosis many of whom had never had it before.

It added that those with pre-existing problems had reported their conditions getting much worse.

Gellan Watt, a 45-year-old creative director from London, suffered from tinnitus before catching Covid last year but said it had become twice as loud after he was infected.

I have had hearing problems for a few years, tinnitus for few years and some deafness, but since having Covid it has taken a massive knock, he toldi.

I would say I was on the fringes of needing a hearing aid before, but now I am definitely in the hearing aid category. My tinnitus has gone up to record levels and I have never experienced it so loud, it is twice as loud as it ever was.

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Use The Quick Coherence Breathing Technique To Calm Anxiety

When tinnitus is spiking and anxiety levels are running high, breathing techniques can be an effective way to cope. There are other breathing exercises that can be helpful here, but the Quick Coherence breathing technique is one of the most powerful techniques that youve probably never heard of.

I personally find that it helps to stabilize my emotional state faster than any other technique by far, and best of all, it can be practiced anytime, anywhere, in as little as 2-3 minutes.

If you are in a full-on panic, it may not calm you down completely, but it can at least put the ground back under your feet, emotionally speaking.

Step 1: Focus your attention in the area of the heart. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual.

Suggestion: Inhale 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds

Step 2: Make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling such as appreciation or care for someone or something in your life.

Suggestion: Try to re-experience the feeling you have for someone you love, a pet, a special place, an accomplishment, etc. or focus on a feeling of calm or ease.

I personally find the best results with this technique when I bring to mind a specific memory of a time when I felt a strong sense of love, gratitude, family and connection. I try to relive the memory in my mind and make the positive emotions I felt as bright and vivid as I possibly can.

Is There A Link Between Long Covid And Tinnitus

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Research has now been published by the World Health Organisation that suggests tinnitus and other hearing issues, as well as blurred vision, could be an indication of long Covid. This information became public in October 2021, when the WHO officially released their clinical case definition of post COVID-19 condition – also known as long Covid. A definition they had established through a large, global consensus process.

In their findings, the WHO found that 45% of people that took part in the study rated tinnitus and other hearing issues as critical to include when asked how important the symptom was to the clinical case definition of post COVID-19 conditions.

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More Strategies For Managing Tinnitus During The Pandemic

COVID-19 has not been kind to tinnitus patients. As the global pandemic stretches on, patients everywhere are really struggling with the ringing in their ears.

Between the overwhelming anxiety many of us feel at the state of the world, financial insecurity, forced social isolation, and the massive disruption of normal routines, the coronavirus has created a perfect storm of suffering for people living with tinnitus.

Its difficult to cope with these kinds of conditions even when youre otherwise healthy. For tinnitus sufferers, it can feel hopeless.

Since the pandemic began, Ive received an endless flood of email from tinnitus patients all over the world in despair. The coronavirus didnt just make bad cases of tinnitus worseIve heard from countless people who had previously habituated and found relief from their tinnitus, only to experience a relapse in these trying times.

The good news is that you are never actually powerless to cope. In my previous column published at the start of the pandemic, I discussed five strategies to help tinnitus sufferers weather the storm and better cope with the increased stress and anxiety.

But the coronavirus is showing no signs of slowing down, especially here in the US, and so more and better tools are still needed.

Here are five more things you can do to cope with tinnitus, stress and anxiety during the pandemic.

Emerging Research Linking Coronavirus & Tinnitus

Researchers are still developing the correlation between coronavirus and tinnitus. Though tinnitus is not listed as a Covid-19 symptom by the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more and more cases reveal that people have experienced both conditions at the same time. The New York Times recently published: Some Covid-19 Patients Say Theyre Left With Ringing Ears, which explores the link between COVID-19 and tinnitus. The article features two recent studies that provide more details:

  • : researchers evaluated 60 patients with Covid-19 and found that 15% of people with the virus also experienced tinnitus. In discussing these findings, Kevin Munro, professor of audiology at the University of Manchester and co-author of the study, said that he has received nearly 100 emails after the study was published from people sharing that they have also experienced tinnitus and Covid-19. Munro also emphasized that viruses are known to impact hearing health. Stating, we already know that viruses such as measles, mumps, and meningitis can cause hearing loss. Coronaviruses can damage the nerves that carry information to and from the brain.

Additionally, researchers have also suggested that medications taken to treat COVID-19 could also be contributing to tinnitus. Researchers are continuing to collect data and study the correlation between both conditions.

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The Possible Link Between Tinnitus And Covid

A 2021 study published in the International Journal of Audiology estimated that almost 15 percent of people with COVID-19 said they had tinnitus, often early in the course of their infection.

Audiologists like Prutsman have heard anecdotal accounts from patients who say they have experienced changes in hearing and tinnitus after having COVID-19.

Almost all viruses cause an inflammatory response to the host cells, which can cause damage to multiple systems in the body, said Prutsman.

It is possible, although too early to understand fully, that COVID-19 is creating changes to the inner ear, auditory nerve, or auditory cortex in the brain that would be contributing to the tinnitus, she said.

Examples of viruses that cause permanent hearing loss are cytomegalovirus and rubella. However, Prutsman said not all people who experience permanent hearing loss from a virus will experience tinnitus.

If the tinnitus is intermittent and does not persist, she said it is unlikely that COVID-19 is causing permanent damage to these structures.

However, until more research can be done to better understand all of this, it is hard to know if there is a true connection between the two, and what might be causing it if there is a connection, Prutsman added.

Schaffner said its worth researching because COVID-19 has the capacity to affect many organ systems, making it conceivable that it could cause tinnitus or worsen chronic tinnitus.

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