Covid-19 Infection may affect audio-vestibular system of patients, finds Study
The novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) spread rapidly around the world and was declared as a global pandemic by WHO. Common clinical symptoms include dry cough, fever, headache, sore throat, shortness of breath, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Anosmia and taste changes are common symptoms.
Facial paralysis, sudden hearing loss and cases of vertigo among otologic symptoms have also been reported in relation to COVID-19. However, the effects of COVID-19 on hearing and the vestibular system remains unclear.
Audiovestibular system of people with COVID-19 infection may be affected, reports a study recently conducted by a team of researchers at the Inonu University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Malatya, Turkey.
The report is published in the American Journal of Otolaryngology.
The study aimed to investigate the effects of COVID-19 infection on hearing and the vestibular system.
The authors included a total of twenty-six patients whose treatment had been completed and who had no previous hearing or balance complaints. Patients diagnosed with the disease by PCR were included in the study.
Patients with at least one month of illness were included in the study. The hearing of patients was evaluated with transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE) and pure-tone audiometry.
Bedside tests, the European Evaluation of Vertigo scale (EEV), Video Head Impulse Test (vHIT), Ocular Vestibular Myogenic Evoked Potential (oVEMP), Cervical Vestibular Myogenic Evoked Potential (cVEMP) and Videonystagmography (VNG) tests were applied to evaluate the vestibular system.
It was observed that a statistically significant difference was found between the COVID-19 positive and control groups according to the mean values of the 4000 Hz and 8000 Hz in both the right and left ears (p < 0.05).
Furthermore, no statistically significant difference was found in the other frequencies and transient evoked otoacoustic emissions . No statistically significant difference was found between the COVID-19 positive and control groups in terms of their normal or pathological Videonystagmography saccade, optokinetic and spontaneous nystagmus values (p > 0.05).
The normal and pathological Videonystagmography head shake values were found to be significantly different between the COVID-19 positive and control groups (p < 0.05).
The researchers this concluded that the high frequencies in audiometry in the COVID-19 positive group were worse than those in the control group. This study shows that the audiovestibular system of people with COVID-19 infection may be affected.