Covid Ear: Ear Problems in COVID-19 illness

Ear Problems in COVID-19

OUTLINE:-

  • Introduction
  • What is COVID EAR?
  • Counselling

     —The Ear

     —Parts of the Ear

     —COVID EAR

     —Symptoms: a) EARACHE

                               b) TINNITUS

                               c) VERTIGO

                               d) LOSS OF HEARING

e) EAR FULLNESS/BLOCKAGE

INTRODUCTION:-

Plague in 1720, Cholera in 1820, Spanish flu in 1920, and COVID-19 in 2019/20/21. Something that is common over the years is the “PANDEMIC.”

Yes! you heard me right. It is indeed a ping pong ball, a bounce-back history. But this time with new symptoms, new variants and a totally new disguise.

For now, it’s been 2 long years.

Hello guys! Welcome to 2022. In fact, a happy welcome, for we have anchored yet another year to our calendars, inked resolutions in our diaries, shoed our feet to shove the negativity and move forth in the scavenge of inner peace.

While we do this…just stop! halt your body, close your eyes, breathe and hear your breath. You would notice your ears feeling pleasant, your brain nerves untangle, your heart rejoices and you sink into sleep. Isn’t this a great feeling?

But, for a moment, let’s get this the other way round.

You shut your eyes to discover an unbearable earache, a ringing sound pestering the screens of your eardrums, a perplexing vision with an unbalanced mind (commonly called vertigo), or sometimes just trifling SILENCE — LOSS OF SOUND.

Beads of perspiration trickle down your forehead, your fist crinkles to a breathless hold and you barely think of sleeping.

Now, this is called “COVID EAR.

And the aforementioned symptoms are indeed the symptoms of COVID EAR.

WHAT IS COVID EAR?

Two years back, in 2019, the entire human population in the world was startled by a new borne infant disease in the smallest markets of Wuhan, China. It was coined to be COVID-19 — a pandemic that was the entire world’s brain drainer.

COVID-19 arrived with one and multiplied to many variants over the years. Each of these variants encompassed humanity with enormously un-manifested symptoms. And one such symptom that cracked through the second/third wave of the virus is known to be the COVID EAR.

It is a recently discovered symptom that is NOT very common in all individuals.

The effect of COVID EAR can be found in any individual but is mostly cited in older adults whose symptoms are further fostered to severity due to their age factor. Apart from this, children are also easily prone to such ear infections, but with very mild symptoms.

Moving on, if any of you bear any such symptoms of COVID Ear, then I would definitely suggest you to see the ENT physician immediately.

But before that, it is equally important for us to know that COVID EAR isn’t scary, as far as we consider it to be one. So relax! for we are in a better space.

“HEAL THE FEAR TO TREAT THE FOE.”

The moment you step into the clinic, exchange greetings and entitle your problems, the doctor would first expect you to have a piece of profound knowledge about the condition for it helps you to get rid of your fears regarding the condition, and also makes the treatment more efficient.

This is why you will have to go through a counselling session.

COUNSELLING:-

Here, this is a schooling procedure where you will be educated entirely about COVID EAR.

Well, I, Dr. Sharad, am your counsellor for today.

So, to start with—

A)— EAR

Over the last decade, many space mysteries have been encrypted in various facts and artefacts.

In space, though you crackle your vocals and scream, you still go unheard. Not just you, but sounds produced by your companion stars, galaxies and meteors also seep into silence. This is because the sound does not travel through a vacuum space. Thus, in 2006, specially designed devices were attached to huge balloons and ejected into space, that would help to record sounds of various wavelengths and frequencies by picking radio waves. And guess what! The instrument transferred unusual sounds louder than the frequencies expected by cosmologists. Some scents concluded to say they were alien species while some denied it. Even today, the NASA stipend proofs on Alien existence. Though it is hard to believe,— there exists science beyond technology.

And above all, the only sense organ that transfers such amazing universal energy through our body is — THE EAR.

B)— PARTS OF THE EAR

The Ear is divided into 3 parts-

—Outer Ear: It is the outer visible region of the ear with an external pinna and ear canal.

—Middle Ear: It is an air-filled cavity that consists of 3 tiny bones called Malleus, Incus and Stapes.

—Inner Ear: They contain organs with senses of hearing and are divided into 2 major parts namely, Cochlea and Semicircular Canals– together called Audio-Vestibular System. This system helps to maintain body balance and is responsible for the sense of hearing.

This was all about The Ear, now coming to COVID EAR:-

COVID EAR simply means, infection or damage to any part of the ear caused due to SARS CoV 2 VIRUS.

C)—SYMPTOMS OF COVID EAR

The various “SYMPTOMS” of COVID EAR are:-

  1. Earache
  2. Tinnitus
  3. Vertigo
  4. Loss of hearing.
  5. Ear fullness/blockage

1)—EARACHE:-

The most typical symptom of COVID Ear is the EARACHE —a general pain in your ears.

As mentioned earlier, our ear has three parts – outer, middle and inner ear. Out of this, earache is caused when the middle ear is infected or damaged.

How does this infection occur?

When any of us are infected by COVID-19, we tend to catch a cold as the first line of symptoms. This cold caused due to the virus in the nose and throat tend to build up the growth of bacteria in the middle ear, which in turn calls for an earache.

2)—TINNITUS:-

About 14.8% of COVID-19 patients have complained about this condition.

It is basically a symptom that produces a ringing sound from the inside of the ear caused due to damage in the inner ear.

The inner ear (Audio-vestibular system)  consists of 2 major parts:

— COCHLEA: It is a coiled structure with a number of tiny tubes along with hair-like sensory cells.

The sound waves enter the inner ear and strike these hair-like sensory cells which in turn move to enable hearing.

— SEMI CIRCULAR CANAL (SCC): It consists of 3 tiny tubes filled with fluid that flow through these tubes in order to maintain the body balance when you move your head.

In the case of Tinnitus, though your inner ear is damaged, it does not give up, it still tries to function, but fails to pass the sound signals through the sensory cells up to the brain in the right way.

Instead, it produces its own sounds in order to replace the actual sound that was to be heard. Such sounds are heard as ringing alarms from the inner ear.

These sounds can be different for different people. Some of us can hear songs while some can hear sounds of ringing, buzzing, roaring or also a sudden hustle.

Well, no sound is too pleasant for too long and it does take a toll on our mental health.

3)—VERTIGO:-

When you feel like your head is put on a roller coaster and spun onto a spinning wheel, tilting, swaying, twirling, jerking and sweating— you call it vertigo.

It is a mere feeling of dizziness and an unbalanced body.

According to a study at the University of Manchester, over 7.6% of COVID patients were cited with vertigo.

Since cold is a common symptom of COVID-19 and this cold occurs in the regions of our nose and throat that is in close hemispheres of the ear, our ears tend to get infected, specifically the middle and inner ear.

Here, since vertigo is a condition of loss of body balance, and simultaneously the vestibular region that is, the inner ear is responsible for maintaining body balance, it is quite obvious that any damage in the inner ear— specifically the semicircular canal, would cause vertigo.

Some other symptoms of vertigo are –

  • Vomiting,
  • Perplexed vision and
  • Lots of movement in front of the eyes.

4)—LOSS OF HEARING:-

The loss of hearing due to COVID-19 is a rare insight noticed in about 7.6% of patients that has led to a boom in the research constraints since 2020.

It was noted that the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus caused loss of hearing.

This is because this variant mostly affected the upper regions of our respiratory tract which is in near association with the middle ear.

The medications or the virus itself would cause a lot of pressure on this region that in turn leads to loss of hearing.

The above symptoms including earache, tinnitus, vertigo and loss of hearing could be a symptom of COVID-19 or also a result of secondary infection that appears days or weeks after encountering the virus.

Any which way, these symptoms are never to be neglected— The earlier you see the doctor, the safer room you take.

5)—EAR FULLNESS/BLOCKAGE:-

Another typical symptom of COVID EAR is ear fullness —a general sensation of blockage in your ears.

How does this ear fullness occur?

As already mentioned, this symptom also has 2 reasons-

1st is that catching a cold, cough, sore throat is the first line of symptoms of COVID-19. This nose or throat infection caused due to the virus tend to ascend to the ear through a connecting tube called the Eustachian tube.

The infection causes this tube to malfunction and leads to the accumulation of secretions in the middle ear behind an intact eardrum. It is also known as Serous otitis media.

2nd is it may be due to the direct effect of the SARS CoV 2 virus on the ear.

So, here ends your counselling session.

In conclusion, I would like to say,

Our education attributes a lineage to our perspective about various conceptual diseases.

So,

Gain knowledge to go fearless.

THANKS

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MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER:


This blog including information, content, references, and opinions is for informational purposes only.

The Author does not provide any medical advice on this platform.

Viewing, accessing, or reading this blog does not establish any doctor-patient relationship.

The information provided in this blog does not replace the services and opinions of a qualified medical professional who examines you and then prescribes medicines.

And if you have any questions of medical nature, please refer to your doctor or the qualified medical personnel for evaluation and management at a clinic/hospital near you.

The content provided in this blog represents the Author’s own interpretation of research articles.

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