Published: 2021-09-27

Asymptomatic hearing loss-a missed symptom of COVID-19

Choudhary Sathyanarayanan, Balaji Swaminathan, Ruta Shanmugam, V. U. Shanmugam, Prakash ., V. M. Lavanya, P. S. Divya


Background: COVID-19 pandemic is caused by SARS CoV2. The last reference of pandemic was Spanish flu in 1918 which caused hearing loss in many patients. The effect of COVID-19 is an interesting issue in audiology. Not much studies have been done; therefore, this kindled our interest to have a study on audiological profile of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients.

Methods: The 20 cases in the age group of 20 and 50 years who were confirmed positive for COVID-19 formed the study group. 20 subjects who had normal hearing (Audiometric threshold at or better than 15 db HL) were used as control group. Pure-tone audiometry (PTA) was done for both the group on day 7 and 30. Air conduction and Bone conduction were measured. The audiometric thresholds were measured using the modified Hughson-Westlake method.

Results: High frequency hearing impairment was found in 9 out of 20 patients in the study group on day 7. Out of the 9 affected patients 7 patients showed improvement upon further testing done on day 30.

Conclusions: Like anosmia and ageusia, hearing loss can be considered as one of the clinical features in COVID-19 patients. This study was recorded to find a significant hearing loss in asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and thus sheds light on the auditory problem that people are experiencing during these difficult times and for future reference on pandemic research.


Conductive hearing loss, Sensoneural hearing loss, COVID-19, Audiometric evaluation, PTA

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