Ears Feel Clogged and Ringing Covid-19 – Hearing loss has already been reported as a result of COVID-19, but a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts Eye and Ear has shown what happens when the coronavirus assaults the inner ear.
The study, which was just published in the journal Communications Medicine, looked at SARS-CoV-2 infection in cellular models of the human inner ear and adult human inner ear tissue to see what effect it had.
According to Themacforums findings, the ear is yet another region of our bodies that can be infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that produces COVID-19.
“This article provides very convincing evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infects the inner ear, and may be causally related to hearing and balance symptoms in a number of patients with COVID-19 infection,” said Dr. Yuri Agrawal, an otolaryngology-head and neck surgery professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who was not involved in the study.
In a statement, Lee Gehrke, Ph.D., the Hermann L.F. von Helmholtz Professor in MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, who co-led the study, said, “Having the models is the first step, and this work opens a path now for working with not only SARS-CoV-2 but also other viruses that affect hearing”.
Within three weeks of diagnosis, 10 adult patients who tested positive for COVID-19 showed symptoms such as hearing loss, tinnitus (Ears Feel Clogged and Ringing Covid-19), or dizziness. To build in-vitro cellular models of the inner ear, researchers studied inner ear tissue from humans and mice.
They uncovered “molecular machinery to facilitate SARS-CoV-2 entrance” in both human and animal inner ear tissue, including the ACE2 receptor. The virus could also infect two types of cells in the inner ear termed Schwann and hair cells, according to the researchers.
“Our findings show that COVID-19-related hearing and balance difficulties may be exacerbated by inner ear infection”, the researchers concluded.
Hair cells and Schwann cells serve critical roles
Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told Health line, “Vestibular hair cells serve as sensory receptors in the inner ear that operate to measure and monitor head motion, a sense of balance, and allow people and animals to orient themselves.”
“Schwann cells, which can also be found in the specialized inner ear equipment known as the cochlea, are essential for hearing,” he stated. According to Glatter, the lesson is that vestibular hair cells and Schwann cells express proteins required for SARS-CoV-2 to enter cells.
“These proteins include the ACE2 receptor, which is located on cell surfaces, and two enzymes termed furin and transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), which allow SARS-CoV-2 to connect to the host cell”, he explained.
Deafness can be caused by a variety of illnesses passed down from mother to child
The developing inner ear is “notoriously vulnerable” to congenital (born with) viral infection, according to the study authors, and congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) accounts for many occurrences of hearing loss at birth.
“Viruses like CMV and HIV can cause hearing loss,” Glatter explained. “Up to 40% of congenital hearing loss is caused by CMV”.
HIV could also cause hearing loss “through direct impacts on-ear structures or specialized ear cells themselves”, or indirectly by reducing the immune response that defends against bacterial or fungal infection, according to him.
Ears Feel Clogged and Ringing Covid-19 – SARS-Cov-2 infection of OPCs, a cell type seen in the developing fetal inner ear, was observed, according to the researchers.
Pregnant women should get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to avoid infection that can lead to issues like these and others in babies.
Those who have been exposed to COVID-19, as well as those who test positive for the coronavirus, should pay “special” attention to symptoms including dizziness, hearing loss, and tinnitus, according to Glatter.
COVID Causes Ear Damage Directly
While it is still unknown if COVID-19 infection causes hearing loss. The virus can and does enter the ear most likely through the Eustachian tube, which connects the nose and middle ear. The virus can actively infect both the cochlear (hearing) and vestibular (balancing) hair cells once it enters the ear, potentially causing:
- Sensorineural hearing loss is a type of hearing loss that affects the inner ear Damage to the inner ear or the nerve connecting the ear to the brain causes hearing loss. This kind of hearing loss is irreversible.
- Balance issues are a symptom of vestibular dysfunction.
COVID-19 is also more than a respiratory disorder. It has the potential to disrupt practically all of the body’s major organ systems, including the vascular system. Blood artery injury and/or the production of microemboli (small clots) that might obstruct blood flow are possible vascular consequences. The cochlea (a highly vascularized organ in the inner ear responsible for hearing) and the vestibular organs responsible for balance can both be affected if the artery supplying blood to the inner ear is damaged or clogged.
Congestion in the Middle Ear
COVID-19 is a virus that, like all viruses, infects the body by penetrating cells and abusing the cells’ components to replicate and propagate. COVID-19 has considerably more catastrophic health consequences than other viruses such as the common cold and influenza, but it does share one feature with them: it frequently causes upper respiratory symptoms such as coughing and nasal and sinus congestion.
Ears Feel Clogged and Ringing Covid-19 – Because COVID-19 produces inflammation in the nose and nasopharynx (the upper region of the throat behind the nose), the Eustachian tube (the tube that connects the nose and middle ear) may become inflamed as well, resulting in middle ear congestion.
“An abrupt buildup of fluid in the middle ear region often comes from inflammation of the Eustachian tube”, says Sarah Mowry, MD, an ear, nose, and throat specialist. “This middle ear fluid causes congestion, fullness, and a ‘underwater’ hearing sensation. Within a few weeks of the inflammation, this fluid usually clears on its own. If it doesn’t, a doctor can drain the fluid to relieve the hearing-related problems, which is commonly done in the office”.
Vaccination against COVID
Patients have reported tinnitus and/or dizziness after getting the two-dose immunization regimens from Moderna and Pfizer, according to Themacforums reports. The explanation for this, however, is unknown because vaccinations have no effect on the inner ear tissues. As a result, it’s unlikely that hearing and balance problems are linked.
Later Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Since COVID-19 was initially identified in early 2020, we’ve learned a lot about how the virus affects the body during the early stages of infection and in the weeks and months afterward. Long Haul Syndrome, also known as Long COVID, occurs when symptoms linger or worsen after an acute illness.
Although few studies have documented hearing problems in post-COVID patients that were not present earlier in the infection phase. There are a few studies that have documented hearing issues in post-COVID patients that were not present earlier in the infection process. Mild to extensive hearing loss, vertigo, and/or tinnitus in one or both ears were among the symptoms.
Here’s who’s most at risk for a COVID infection that lasts a long time
The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services led the study, which looked at 366 people aged 18 and above who tested positive for COVID-19 between April 1 and December 10, 2020.
Ears Feel Clogged and Ringing Covid-19, After testing positive, the patients were interviewed at least two months later. Two months after their positive diagnostic test. One-third of the patients reported at least one symptom. Fatigue, trouble breathing, and parosmia were the most prevalent symptoms (loss of smell).
Women, those over 40, Black people, and people with prior health issues were more likely to experience symptoms. More study is needed to understand and treat extended COVID. According to researchers, as more patients recover from COVID-19.
The study stated, “Identifying groups disproportionately affected by post-acute COVID-19 sequelae can help develop efforts to prioritize preventions and treatment strategies, such as vaccination of groups at higher risk for these long-term sequelae, and access to testing and care for post-acute sequelae.”
What creates a COVID that is too long?
Researchers suspect a number of causes, but it’s unclear why some people are more likely to acquire lengthy COVID. Disparities in exposure to SARS-CoV-2, inequities in diagnosis and management, and differences in the occurrence of underlying health issues among different racial groups are among the variables.
Another notion is that as the immune system fights the coronavirus, it also produces “autoantibodies” that attack normal proteins in the body.
Ears Feel Clogged and Ringing Covid-19 – Because the symptoms are so varied including shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell, and memory and concentration issues. Shaw believes there could be additional reasons for who gets lengthy COVID and why.
One of the most important findings of the study is that extended COVID is not uncommon. One-third of the participants in this study had at least one symptom two months after testing positive.
“Because a considerable proportion of people (one-third of those assessed in our study) can acquire persistent symptoms of extended COVID, it’s even more important for everyone to take precautions against COVID-19, such as immunization and using a mask indoors,” Shaw said.
The bottom line
According to a new CDC study, adults over 40, women, Black people, and people with underlying health issues are at the most risk of lengthy COVID. It’s yet unknown what causes certain people to get long-distance symptoms, but scientists are looking into it. Scientists want to develop better prevention and treatment options by determining who is most affected by extended COVID. Visit www.themacforums.com for more news and the latest updates.
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