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It’s Time To Be Proactive About Hearing Loss!

It’s no secret that 2020 was a difficult year for many people. You may be bidding 2020 not only good-bye but good riddance! So, with hopes for a better year in 2021, you may have set some New Year’s resolutions—or maybe you simply defined a few priorities in your life to focus on this year. Is your health one of them?

Your health might seem like an obvious priority (especially during a pandemic!). But while you resolve to take steps to protect yourself from COVID-19, get a regular annual checkup, eat healthier, or maintain a healthy weight, you shouldn’t neglect your hearing health.

Be honest: When was the last time you had your hearing checked? A Consumer Reports survey of more than 120,000 people found that nearly 30 percent of those surveyed had either gone more than a decade without having their hearing tested or had never had it tested. How often should you have your hearing tested? That depends on your age. Experts recommend that until the age of 50, you have your hearing checked once a decade. After the age of 50, you should have your hearing tested once every three years.

Your hearing health is too important to neglect (especially when hearing tests are painless and usually only take about 30 minutes!). Being proactive about your hearing health can pay off in big ways, both now and in the future. Good hearing health can:

  • Improve your relationships with your spouse, family members, and friends as you are able to better hear and understand them
  • Keep you safe as you will be able to hear fire alarms, sirens, safety warnings, and hazards like oncoming traffic
  • Enable you to hear the sounds you love, such as music and nature sounds
  • Give you increased confidence to interact with others and attend social events, even in noisy atmospheres
  • Remove the uncertainty of wondering whether you have hearing loss and how it can be treated

Hearing evaluations are excellent resources. While the tests are quick and painless, they can provide immeasurable value. Your hearing healthcare provider will administer the test and then review the results with you. If you have hearing loss, they will also discuss options with you for treating your hearing loss, such as hearing aids. This ensures that you receive the care and solutions you need. In some cases, hearing loss is a symptom of another health condition that can then be diagnosed and treated, such as infection, impacted earwax, kidney disease, heart disease, or diabetes.

In addition to restoring your ability to hear and understand your loved ones, diagnosing and treating hearing loss can also have a tremendous impact on your overall health. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to a greater risk for depression, anxiety, dementia, social isolation, and falls. You can reduce your risk for all of these serious conditions by simply having your hearing tested and treating any hearing loss.

To learn more about the importance of being proactive about hearing loss, we invite you to contact our hearing health professional today.

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The Challenges of Having Hearing Loss During a Pandemic

It’s an understatement to say that things look a bit different as we begin 2021 than they did in 2020. Many people’s lives have changed in a big way as a result of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, and even if your life hasn’t undergone a significant change, you can probably see a difference in your day-to-day activities. You may be working or attending school online instead of in person. You may not be seeing your friends and family as regularly as you once did. You might be getting food and grocery delivery more frequently. And when you go into a public space, you are likely wearing a face mask.

All of these parts of our lives have changed in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. While they are important steps for protecting the health of both yourself and others, they are not without their own challenges. If you have hearing loss, wearing a face mask can present frustrations you have not experienced before. Here are a few tips for navigating hearing loss during the pandemic:

You May Have Hearing Loss

  • Since the public began wearing cloth face coverings, have you experienced more difficulty understanding speech?
  • Do you often need to ask people to repeat themselves, especially if they are wearing a face mask?
  • Do you need to turn up the volume on the TV or radio?

If so, you may have hearing loss. Speaking with people who are wearing face masks has highlighted this for many people who did not previously realize they had hearing loss. This is because wearing a face mask can affect the volume and clarity of speech. In addition, you can no longer rely on lip-reading or facial expressions to help you understand what is said.

If you believe you might have hearing loss, we encourage you to contact our hearing health professional today. We can provide you with a hearing test and help you find the solutions you need.

When You Have Hearing Loss

If you already know that you have hearing loss, you may still be experiencing new challenges during the pandemic. One new frustration may be wearing a face mask while also wearing hearing aids. The ear loops on the face mask might catch on your hearing aids, which can pull on your hearing aids. This might be even more challenging if you wear eyeglasses as well. Here are a few tips to make it easier:

  • Slowly and carefully remove your face mask. This can help prevent it from yanking out your hearing aids.
  • Consider using a face mask with fabric ties instead of elastic ear loops.
  • If you do wear a face covering with ear loops, try using a mask holder or one of these other solutions to prevent the loops from interfering with your hearing aids.

If you wear hearing aids and have found yourself having difficulty understanding people when they speak while wearing a face mask, talk to your hearing aid professional. Your hearing aids might need to be adjusted to accommodate for the muffling effects of the face covering.

To learn more about how to manage hearing loss during the coronavirus pandemic, we invite you to contact our hearing healthcare office today. We look forward to caring for you.

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The Connection Between Sudden Hearing Loss and COVID-19

With over nine months now since the beginning of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, you can probably list the common symptoms of COVID-19: fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, a cough, a new loss of taste or smell, fatigue, and more. But did you know that COVID has also been linked to sudden hearing loss?

Sudden onset sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is a rapid, unexplained hearing loss that happens instantly or over just a few days. Also called sudden deafness, sudden hearing loss most often affects only one ear. In most cases, the cause is unknown.

In past months, a handful of cases of sudden hearing loss have been linked to COVID-19. In the first documented case of COVID-19-related sudden hearing loss in the UK, the patient had been admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) for serious symptoms. The 45-year-old male patient had asthma and was experiencing difficulty breathing due to COVID-19. He was placed on a ventilator for 30 days and received treatment with antiviral drug remdesivir. Once his condition began to improve, the man was released from the ICU and went home.

Approximately a week after going home from the hospital, however, the man noticed tinnitus (ringing in the ear) in his left ear. The tinnitus was followed by sudden hearing loss in that ear. The man had not experienced hearing problems in the past and was healthy prior to the COVID-19 diagnosis. After evaluating the man with both a physical exam and an MRI, doctors could not pinpoint a cause for the sudden hearing loss. This led them to theorize that the man’s sudden hearing loss was connected to COVID-19.

The patient underwent steroid treatment, which is the usual course of treatment for sudden hearing loss. This treatment partially improved his hearing but did not restore it to normal. In cases of sudden hearing loss, treatment outcomes are best when the steroids can be administered soon after the condition presents itself. The patient noted that his hearing loss may have started earlier than he realized due to the difficulty of recognizing his hearing loss in the busy hospital ICU.

At present, only a handful of cases of sudden hearing loss have been associated with COVID-19 (in Germany, Egypt, and Turkey), and doctors are uncertain as to how the two conditions are connected. They have hypothesized that the link may be found in the cells that line the middle ear. These cells have ACE-2 receptors, which the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) uses to get inside cells. Further research must be done to further explore the connection between COVID-19 and sudden hearing loss.

For patients diagnosed with COVID-19, screening for sudden hearing loss may present the best chance for identifying the condition early and allowing for fast treatment. If you have COVID-19, be aware of your hearing ability and report any hearing loss to your doctors as soon as possible. Early treatment is the best option for possibly recovering your hearing.

If you would like to learn more about the connection between sudden hearing loss and COVID-19, we welcome you to contact our hearing practice today. We are happy to answer your questions.

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Overly Tired? It Could Be Due to Hearing Loss

Have you felt overly tired lately? It might not be the shorter daylight hours or busy holiday season that are to blame. Your fatigued feeling might be due to hearing loss.

Now, you might be skeptical at first that hearing loss could cause real fatigue. After all, isn’t hearing something you do automatically and constantly, like breathing or blinking? It is true that you probably do not have to consciously tell your brain to hear things, but that does not mean that hearing is not tiring.

Think of a time when you were in a very noisy environment, such as a loud sporting event or a busy restaurant during the dinner rush. When the noise was at its loudest, were you able to easily hear the conversation with your friends and family? Did you feel like you needed to strain to be able to hear them properly? Or if the environment was too loud, did you ever simply give up on trying to follow the conversation? All of this demonstrates the mental strain (or cognitive load, as they call it in the medical field) that accompanies hearing.

If you have normal hearing, you may only notice the cognitive load of hearing in noisy conditions, like those mentioned above. You may also feel the strain when trying very hard to hear a noise, such as listening for disturbances in a quiet home at night or waiting to hear a certain animal call in nature. These circumstances make you realize that hearing does require exertion.

For people with hearing loss, however, many more environments and situations require careful attention and effort. The more time you spend straining to hear, and the more difficult it is to understand, the greater the cognitive load. This can lead to what is known as “ear fatigue,” when your brain becomes tired of trying to hear and make sense of what you hear. And while the term “ear fatigue” may indicate that only your ears might feel tired, in reality, it can lead to an overall feeling of exhaustion.

Because of the fatigue associated with hearing loss, many people with hearing loss begin to avoid social situations or noisy places that could increase their cognitive load and cause ear fatigue. Unfortunately, this strategy can backfire. When you avoid sounds, your auditory nerve does not have to work as hard. Over time, this can lead to an increased risk of dementia. The auditory nerve needs to be stimulated.

So, if you have been feeling overly tired lately, do not ignore it or chalk it up to a simple need for more rest and relaxation. You might be experiencing a symptom of hearing loss. If you have noticed that you no longer hear sounds that were once common to you, if you need to turn up the volume on the TV or radio, or if you frequently ask people to repeat themselves, you may be experiencing hearing loss.

The solution is simple: call your hearing healthcare professional and schedule a hearing assessment. The noninvasive hearing test can help you know whether hearing loss is to blame for your fatigue and other symptoms. We invite you to contact our practice today to learn more about ear fatigue and to schedule your hearing test.

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What to Do If Your Hearing Aids Are Dropped or Get Wet

Wearing hearing aids can be life changing. If you or a loved one suffers from hearing loss and uses hearing aids, you know how critical they are in helping you hear. This not only means that you can watch the TV without turning up the volume—hearing aids can improve your relationships with friends and family, as well as boost your social life.

But what do you do when your hearing aid is damaged by dropping it or getting it wet? It can be easy to panic, but it’s important to remain calm and take a few simple steps that can help to prevent further damage. Here are some helpful tips and tools:

  • If you drop your hearing aid:
    • Whenever you wear a hat, headband, or another type of headgear, be aware that it may catch on your hearing aid and pull it out of your ear. Be careful when you remove your headgear (or anything else near your head, ears, or neck) to ensure that your hearing aid is not pulled out. Check immediately afterward that your hearing aid is still in place.
    • If you realize that your hearing aid has fallen out and has been dropped, stop right where you are. Ask anyone with you to stop as well and to stand still until you have searched for your hearing aid (so no one will step on it if it is on the ground nearby). Start by patting down your clothing, starting at your neck and making your way downward; your hearing aid might have fallen and gotten caught on your clothing.
    • If your hearing aid is not on your person or in the immediate area, think of when you last knew you had it and whether anything had brushed your ears since then. Carefully retrace your steps to see if you can find your hearing aid. If you find it and it has been damaged by the drop, contact your hearing aid professional.
  • If your hearing aid gets wet:
    • First, your hearing aids should never be worn when you are in water, whether that is the shower, bath, ocean, or swimming pool. Make it a habit to feel for your hearing aids with both hands before entering water. Put a note by the shower or clipped onto your swimming suit to remind yourself to remove your hearing aids. Keep a case handy to put your hearing aids in to keep them safe while you are in water.
    • If you do get your hearing aids wet, immediately remove them from both ears and dry them with a towel. Open the battery drawer and remove the batteries. Place your hearing aids in their case or a hearing aid dryer with the battery door open. Never use a hairdryer, microwave, or oven to dry your hearing aids. Allow the devices to rest for about one hour or overnight.
    • If your hearing aid gets wet by being dropped in a toilet, carefully consider whether it is safe to retrieve them. If you are in a public restroom or the toilet is un-flushed, you will likely want to consider them a loss. If you are at home and the toilet is clean, you may want to retrieve them and follow the steps above to dry them.
    • If your hearing aids have gotten wet and no longer work after you dry them, allow them to rest, and insert new batteries, contact your hearing aid professional.

Following these simple steps can help to keep your hearing aids safe and in working order. If your hearing aids have been damaged, do not hesitate to contact your hearing aid professional for additional assistance. We are eager to help!

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Gene Therapy Could Help Prevent Adult-Onset Hearing Loss

When a child is born, many people enjoy pointing out which physical features were inherited from each parent. Maybe the baby has her mom’s eyes or her dad’s smile, or she might have the same hair color as her grandfather or the same nose shape as her grandmother. However, did you know that you could inherit much more than eye or hair color? Researchers have long known that hearing loss could be inherited as well. Now, new research promises to reveal the exact genetic variant responsible for adult-onset hearing loss.

Although researchers have known for years that adult-onset hearing loss could be inherited—with heritability being responsible for an estimated 30 to 70 percent of cases —scientists had previously not known the cause. Research has already identified 118 genes linked to early-onset hearing loss (child or congenital hearing loss), but until now, none had been connected to adult-onset hearing loss. A new study appears to have identified one particular genetic variant that is potentially linked to adult-onset hearing loss.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Radboud University Medical Center in the city of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. The researchers used family and cohort studies featuring families with hearing loss. By using exome sequencing and characterization of the hearing phenotype, researchers discovered a single genetic variant that was present in 39 of 40 family members with confirmed hearing loss. The genetic variant is identified as RIPOR2. In the study, this genetic variant was also found in two individuals without hearing loss, as well as in 18 of 22,952 randomly selected people for whom no hearing loss information is available.

The authors of the study estimate that the RIPOR2 variant is present in “more than 13,000 individuals who are therefore at risk of developing HL or have developed HL already due to this variant.” The study indicates that in northwest Europe alone, this genetic variant may be present in approximately 30,000 additional individuals, indicating their risk for adult-onset hearing loss.

While this genetic variant is quite common—meaning many people are at risk for this particular type of adult-onset hearing loss—the authors of the study are optimistic that gene therapy may hold promise for prevention. “Because of the large number of subjects estimated to be at risk for HL due to the […] RIPOR2 variant, it is an attractive target for the development of a genetic therapy. The great progress that is being made in hearing disorders is promising.” Now that a particular genetic variant tied to adult-onset hearing loss has been found, gene therapy can specifically target RIPOR2 in an effort to prevent or minimize hearing loss.

Of course, additional research remains to be done. While gene therapy can provide hope to those looking to prevent adult-onset hearing loss, the therapies must still be developed. Furthermore, researchers will continue to study particular genes that may be linked to hearing loss.

To learn more about adult-onset hearing loss and how gene therapy could help prevent hearing loss, we invite you to contact our hearing practice today. We are happy to answer your questions and provide you with the care you need.

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5 Common Fears of Wearing Hearing Aids and How to Overcome Them

Did you know that approximately 15 percent of adults over the age of 18 in the United States report having some trouble hearing? That’s about 37.5 million people! So, if you or a loved one has been told or suspects that you have hearing loss, you are far from alone.

Although hearing loss is quite common and hearing aids are a great treatment option for many people who suffer from hearing loss, you may still have a few reservations about using a hearing aid. If you feel this way, don’t worry. It’s normal to have some questions about something so new to you.

To help you feel more comfortable and confident about wearing hearing aids, here are five of the most common fears about wearing hearing aids and how to navigate them:

1. I’m worried my hearing aids won’t work.

If you knew someone who wore hearing aids years ago, this fear might be at the top of your mind. However, hearing aid technology has progressed significantly in recent years. Today’s hearing aids are more powerful, more effective, and easier to use than ever before.

Many of today’s hearing aids are also designed to work with your other technology, such as your smartphone, TV, or tablet. In addition, new technology enables hearing aids to distinguish between background noise and speech, which will allow you to more clearly hear the conversations you are interested in.

If your hearing aids don’t work perfectly right away, talk to your hearing aid professional. Your devices may require some simple adjustments that will greatly improve your experience.

2. I’m worried my hearing aids will make me look old.

While advanced age is associated with a greater risk for hearing loss, people of all ages use hearing aids. If you are picturing older hearing aids that you saw your grandmother wearing 20 years ago, throw out that mental picture! Nowadays, hearing aids are much smaller and more discreet.

In addition, untreated hearing loss can make you seem older than wearing hearing aids will. Constantly asking people to repeat themselves, turning up the volume on the TV, and responding inappropriately because you did not hear correctly can all make you seem old. Using hearing aids can help you avoid all of these issues.

3. I’m worried I won’t be able to afford hearing aids.

While this is an understandable concern, there are hearing aids available at multiple price points to fit your needs. Additional options may also be available for you, including:

  • Monthly payments. Many hearing health practices offer flexible payment plans so you can pay for your hearing aids in a way that works for your financial situation. They may also offer refurbished devices at a lower cost, or they may have a relationship with a foundation that can help offset the cost of your hearing aids.
  • Hearing benefits from the Veteran’s Administration. If you are a veteran, check with your VA to see if they provide hearing benefits.
  • Vocational rehabilitation. If you are a prospective or current college student, or if you are currently employed, you may qualify for hearing aids through your state’s vocational rehabilitation program.
  • Social service organizations. Some organizations, such as Optimist, Kiwanis, and Lion’s Clubs, sponsor programs within their communities to offer hearing healthcare.

4. I’m afraid I’ll lose my hearing aids.

This may be a concern for you if you often lose other items, such as your keys or eyeglasses. However, unlike those items, which can be picked up and put down in multiple locations several times a day, your hearing aids should rarely be taken out during the day. If you wear them properly, you will likely put on your hearing aids early in the morning and take them out just before you go to bed.

Choose a designated place to always store your hearing aids. By making your hearing aids part of your morning and nighttime routines, you can lower the risk that you will lose them.

5. I don’t like going to the doctor.

For many people, this fear is connected to a feeling of uncertainty about what will happen during the appointment. Put your mind at ease by knowing that your first hearing evaluation will likely include the following steps:

  • The hearing healthcare professional (or a member of their team) will ask you some questions about your overall health.
  • They will use a special light called an otoscope to painlessly examine your ear canals and eardrums.
  • They will measure the level of hearing in each ear in a sound-treated test booth.
  • After the testing is complete, the hearing healthcare professional will discuss the results with you. As needed, they will also offer treatment options and recommendations.

If you are concerned about the cost of the appointment, most hearing evaluations cost between $150 and $225, depending on the specific tests you need. Many insurance plans cover this cost, so check with your insurance provider. Your hearing health practice may also offer financing options for qualified patients, so do not let the cost deter you from taking care of your hearing health.

With this information, you should feel confident in seeking the hearing healthcare you need, including hearing aids. To learn more about hearing aids and their benefits, we invite you to contact our hearing healthcare practice today.

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Increased Follow-Up From Healthcare Providers Could Lead to Greater Hearing Aid Usage

Once someone is told they need hearing aids, they either dive in with both feet or are very hesitant about adapting to these devices. Some people are very excited that the devices can help them hear better. Others have a more difficult time making the shift to using hearing aids, and they may have underlying concerns or questions about using the devices.

So, what is the most common reason that people are hesitant to wear hearing aids and end up leaving their devices unused? According to Professor Harvey Dillon (University of Manchester), “the largest predictor of hearing aid benefit is the quality of interaction with the health professional, rather than the degree of hearing loss.” This means that a person with severe hearing loss may be no more likely to use their hearing aids than a person with mild hearing loss. The greatest indicator is how well the person’s hearing health professional communicates and follows up with them.

Professor Dillon is the lead author of a new paper published in the International Journal of Audiology. This paper reports the results of a survey conducted by researchers from the University of Manchester jointly with audiologists from the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales. The study evaluated a sample of 10,000 to 16,000 adults per year from 2004 to 2018, using data extracted from national household surveys in Wales, UK.

The survey found that approximately 20 percent of the surveyed adults never use their hearing aids, 30 percent use their devices some of the time, and the remaining 50 percent use their hearing aids most of the time. Although this amounts to nearly 50 percent who do not use their hearing aids most of the time, this study still found good news in that the proportion of people who claimed to not use their hearing aids over a 15 year period decreased from 21 percent to 18 percent.

Professor Dillon and his colleagues, including Professor Kevin Munro (University of Manchester), believe that the most effective way to increase hearing aid usage is to improve the communication and follow-up from the hearing healthcare provider to their patient. Professor Dillon said, “We think there is a need for prompter and more proactive follow-up and monitoring once a hearing aid has been prescribed and fitted.”

This type of follow-up may increase the number of people who use their hearing aids because they will be better educated on how to use them and how to make any needed adjustments for enhanced results. There is also a period of adjustment for new hearing aid users and having a health professional follow up during this time may encourage more patients to continue using their hearing aids throughout that adjustment phase and well beyond.

If you believe that you may benefit from hearing aids, or if you have any questions about how to use your hearing aids, we encourage you to contact our hearing healthcare office today. We are eager to assist you.

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The Challenges of Distance Learning with Hearing Loss

For children around the United States, late August and early September are associated with one thing: going back to school. While this is still true in 2020, “going back to school” may not involve returning to a school building at all. Many parents have had to make a difficult choice whether to send their children back to in-person learning or to utilize distance learning. In some areas, in-person learning is not yet an option, meaning that all children enrolled in certain schools are using distance learning.

While distance learning is a new and sometimes challenging adventure for all school-age children, it can present unique difficulties for children with hearing loss. Many children with hearing loss have already had to navigate the difficulties of attending school and listening to their teacher and classmates. Now, they are being asked to adapt to yet another way of learning and communicating.

Whereas your child may have previously asked their teacher to speak into a small microphone that would stream to your child’s hearing aid or cochlear implant, they will now need to find a new way to better hear and listen to their teacher’s instruction. Fortunately, many tools and technologies are available to help with this transition.

If you have a child with hearing loss, you can be reassured that distance learning can be just as effective for your child as in-person learning. Here are some tips to help you and your child make the most of distance learning and come out a success:

  • Minimize background noise.

For some children, the background noise involved in distance learning may be much less than what they dealt with on a normal day at school. They are likely no longer hearing the rustling papers, squeaking chairs, and general bustle of other children. Distance learning may allow them to better isolate the sound of their teacher’s voice.

Be sure that the background noise in your home learning environment is kept to a minimum. Close windows and doors, move your child’s learning station away from noisy appliances like the dishwasher, TV, or washing machine, and ensure that other people’s conversation is kept to a minimum during distance learning times.

  • Ask your child’s teacher to help.

While you should do all you can on your end—including minimizing background noise at home and ensuring that your child’s equipment is working properly—your child’s teacher can also take simple steps to make distance learning easier for your child.

These can be as easy as making sure that only one person speaks at a time, using technology (like Google Meet) that offers real-time captioning, and sending written follow-ups that outline what was discussed and what is expected.

  • Make the most of assistive technology.

If your child’s hearing aid or cochlear implant is equipped with Bluetooth technology, use it! You can likely stream your child’s distance learning class directly to their device, which can help them hear and understand more clearly.

Remote learning is certainly not without challenges, but it can be navigated with the help of teachers, parents, and technology. To learn more about how you can help your child with hearing loss succeed in school, we welcome you to contact our hearing practice today.

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Can COVID-19 Cause Hearing Loss?

While none of us were familiar with COVID-19 at the beginning of the year, we have all certainly heard plenty about it by now. And although the news stories about the novel coronavirus have not seemed to slow down in the past six months, there is still much about this virus that is unknown. What has been established, however, is that COVID-19 presents in many different ways with many different symptoms.

Although many symptoms of COVID-19 are respiratory in nature, not all of them are. As we are learning more about this virus and the way it affects our bodies, there is one question that has appeared among both the general population and the medical science community: Can COVID-19 cause hearing loss? And if so, should people be on the lookout for hearing loss as a symptom of the virus?

First, it is important to remember that, as noted, we do not know everything about this virus yet. Our knowledge about COVID-19 continues to grow, and further studies may change some of the information shared here.

That being said, there is some evidence that COVID-19 can cause neurological symptoms as well as respiratory ones. In a study of 214 coronavirus patients, 36.4 percent reported symptoms of neurological manifestations that involved the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and skeletal system. Furthermore, initial research indicates that the virus may cause damage to the sensitive hearing organs of the inner ear.

Another study of 120 COVID-19 patients surveyed whether they noticed any changes in their hearing. 13 percent responded that their hearing was worse. Eight patients reported that their hearing ability had deteriorated, while eight patients said that they had tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

Currently, there is little scientific evidence regarding whether coronavirus can lead to tinnitus. However, people who struggle with depression, anxiety, stress, or isolation may be at greater risk for chronic tinnitus. Unfortunately, stress, depression, and anxiety have all run high in recent months as people have worried about contracting the virus and have isolated themselves in their homes. These factors may cause a rise in cases of tinnitus.

Ototoxicity is another potential hazard. Ototoxicity is damage to the ear and hearing ability due to exposure to certain drugs or chemicals. Some vaccines are known to carry the risk of ototoxicity. As a vaccine for the novel coronavirus is still in the development phases, it is possible that the vaccine may pose a risk for ototoxicity.

Although little published evidence is currently available regarding the connection between hearing loss and COVID-19, it is never wasted to pay attention to your hearing ability. If you feel that your hearing ability has changed or deteriorated, seek the help of a hearing professional. If you notice any known symptoms of COVID-19, you should speak with a medical professional and consider being tested for the virus. Telemedicine and curbside services are available in many areas to limit your contact with other people and thus minimize the risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19.

If you would like to learn more about the possible connection between COVID-19 and hearing loss, we welcome you to contact our hearing practice today. We are eager to care for you.