Objective: The current study compared the amplitude of transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) and thresholds of pure-tone audiometry between asymptomatic COVID-19 PCR-positive cases and normal non-infected subjects.
Methods: Twenty cases who were confirmed positive for COVID-19 and had none of the known symptoms for this viral infection formed the test group. Their age ranged between 20 and 50 years to avoid any age-related hearing affection. Patients who had definite symptoms of COVID-19 infection as well as those who had a history of hearing loss or a history of any known cause of hearing loss were excluded from the examined sample. TEOAEs amplitude was measured for all participants.
Results: The high frequency pure-tone thresholds as well as the TEOAE amplitudes were significantly worse in the test group.
Conclusions: COVID-19 infection could have deleterious effects on cochlear hair cell functions despite being asymptomatic. The mechanism of these effects requires further research.
Keywords: COVID-19; Cochlear function; Corona virus; Hearing loss.
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