Coronavirus has impacted everyone around the world, triggering year-long restrictions, causing severe illness in hundreds of thousands and killing 2.72 million since the pandemic began. There are well-known symptoms of coronavirus like a dry cough, fever and loss or change to smell and taste, however, scientists are working to understand the virus’ impact on our bodies.
Symptoms of coronavirus can vary from person to person, with very mild to severe illness recorded in those infected worldwide.
The main symptoms of the virus are a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss or change to your taste and smell.
Some people also suffer with fatigue, aches and pains, a headache and diarrhoea, and serious symptoms can include shortness of breath, chest pain and loss of speech according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Investigations are also ongoing into long-Covid, with some people reporting fatigue, confusion or memory issues, trouble concentrating, dizziness and more, over several months after contracting COVID-19.
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However, the team – who followed up their review carried out a year ago – described the quality of the studies as fair.
Their data primarily used self-reported questionnaires or medical records to obtain COVID-19-related symptoms, rather than the more scientifically reliable hearing tests.
Kevin Munro, professor of audiology at The University of Manchester and Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) hearing health lead, said: “There is an urgent need for a carefully conducted clinical and diagnostic study to understand the long-term effects of Covid-19 on the auditory system.
“It is also well-known that viruses such as measles, mumps and meningitis can cause hearing loss, little is understood about the auditory effects of the Sars-CoV-2 virus.
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“Though this review provides further evidence for an association, the studies we looked at were of varying quality so more work needs to be done.”
Prof Munro is leading a year-long UK study to investigate the possible long-term impact of coronavirus on hearing among people who have been previously treated in hospital for the virus.
His team hopes to accurately estimate the number and severity of Covid-19 related hearing disorders in the UK, and discover what parts of the auditory system might be affected.
The new study, published in the International Journal of Audiology, was funded by the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre.
The researchers’ data used self-reported questionnaires or medical records to look for coronavirus-related symptoms and didn’t use more scientifically reliable hearing tests.
Now they are conducting a more detailed clinical study with the aim of accurately estimate the number and severity of Covid-related hearing disorders in the UK.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a term given when someone is hearing noises which are not sounds happening in the world around them.
This can be common, and usually isn’t a sign of anything serious.
According to the NHS, tinnitus can sound like
Tinnitus can sound like:
- music or singing
Those suffering may hear this in one ear, both or just in their head.
The sounds can come and go or you may hear them constantly.