- A case report describes sudden-onset, sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) in a patient after a long hospitalization for COVID-19.
Why this matters
- Screen for possible hearing loss in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 to ensure early treatment initiation, decrease risk for hearing-loss-associated morbidity.
- 45-year-old male with asthma presented to otolaryngology clinic with 1-week hearing loss.
- Patient was originally admitted 10-day post-symptom onset for COVID-19, intubated for 30 days, and experienced complications (bilateral pulmonary emboli, ventilator-associated pneumonia, pulmonary hypertension, anemia).
- On presentation: ear canals were patent, noninflamed with intact tympanic membranes.
- Testing: left-sided SSNHL, negative Rinne's test (same side), lateralizing Weber’s test (right side); no further focal neurology.
- Follow-up MRI of internal meatus excluded other causes of unilateral hearing loss.
- Labs: normal range, influenza/HIV screens negative.
- Treatment: 60 mg oral prednisolone for 7 days leading to partial subjective improvement.
- Pure tone audiogram confirmed diagnosis (2, 3, 4, 6 kHz frequencies most affected), elevated 65, 75, 85 dB hearing thresholds.
- 3 rescue intratympanic injections (0.5 mL methylprednisolone sodium succinate) did not further improve hearing.
- Case report detailing sudden, permanent hearing loss in a UK patient with COVID-19.
- Funding: None declared.
- Single case.
- Data from other studies sparse.