Growing evidence links COVID-19, hearing loss, researchers say


Researchers say there is mounting evidence suggesting that hearing loss and other auditory issues are strongly associated with COVID-19 infection, according to a systematic review.

At least one clinical study is ongoing, but using data from 24 concluded studies that mostly relied on self-reported questionnaires or medical records, researchers from the University of Manchester and NIHR Manchester Biomedical Researcher Center found that up to 7.6% of COVID-19 patients suffered from hearing loss, 14.8% complained of tinnitus and 7.2% reported vertigo.

In their review, published in the International Journal of Audiology, researchers said the data calls for more focused studies comparing COVID-19 cases with controls, “such as patients admitted to hospital with other health conditions.”

“Though caution needs to be taken, we hope this study will add to the weight of scientific evidence that there is a strong association between COVID-19 and hearing problems,” The University of Manchester’s Ibrahim Almufarrij, said, according to

Another researcher involved in the review said that many patients have been emailing to complain of hearing issues after COVID-19, underscoring the “urgent need” for diagnostic study.

“Over the last few months I have received numerous emails from people who reported a change in their hearing, or tinnitus after having COVID-19,” said Kevin Munro, professor audiology at The University of Manchester who is leading the ongoing year-long study. “While this is alarming, caution is required as it is unclear if changes to hearing are directly attributed to COVID-19 or to other factors, such as treatments to deliver urgent care.”

The calls coincide with growing urgency to study the symptoms and effects of long-COVID, or symptoms that don’t go away once the infection clears.