Coronavirus can make patients permanently deaf, scientists have warned after the first reported case in the UK.
Details have emerged of a 45-year-old man who experienced sudden hearing loss in one ear while being treated in hospital for Covid-19.
The problem first presented as tinnitus but swiftly deteriorated to full hearing loss.
This was one week after his condition had improved sufficiently to leave intensive care, having spent 30 days on a ventilator.
Examination of his ear canals revealed he had no blockages or inflammation.
However, a hearing test showed that he had substantially lost his hearing in the left ear.
He was treated with steroid tablets and injections after which his hearing partially recovered.
“This is the first reported case of sensorineural hearing loss following Covid-19 infection in the UK,” the researchers wrote in the BMJ – a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal, originally called the British Medical Journal,
The researcher wrote: “Given the widespread presence of the virus in the population and the significant morbidity of hearing loss, it is important to investigate this further.
“This is especially true given the need to promptly identify and treat the hearing loss and the current difficulty in accessing medical services.”